Under the Shadow DVD Review

UTS1Shideh is living with her daughter and husband in Tehran during the Iran – Iraq war. They are scared and are living in a city under threat of total destruction by the Iraq forces. Bombings happen every day, air raid sirens pierce the sky hourly and fear of death is a minute by minute preoccupation. When an upstairs neighbour dies of a heart attack after a missle hits the building and fails to explode, strange things happen. Possesions go missing, nightmares rupture sleep and winds brake glass and say names of things and people…

UTS3Wait a minute there! Do not sit and read the press on this film before seeing it. Yes the film is a pyschologically unbalancing piece and it is about the Djinn, a part of Islamic culture which some might know but in truth comparisons are weak. I mean they are empty headed and lazy critics love to link label and so say…This years ‘Babadook’. UTS is more complex than that. Just like the Babadook is also as complex. This is a radically powerful film about the trauma of history, war and gender repression.¬†Director Anvari takes the claustrophobic space of the flat and teases out isolation fears and external horrors.

UTS2The events are juxtaposed with the Iranian experience through the war with Iraq and the overhang of a revolution that had begun to fail. Also do not listen to those who say it can be seen as simply just a jump out of your seat horror film. Its layers make that impossible to locate. Layers of fear, loss, desire and even death creep up on you. It also plays on the audiences expectation of what the world is like for the characters and then ruptures that. We become dislocated and this is interesting and makes for a very good film.





About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.