The Shadow World is a feature documentary that presents unique insight into the international arms trade: not just its known role in defense, but also - with the complicity of governments and secret services, investigative and prosecutorial bodies, weapons manufacturers, dealers and agents - how it covertly fosters corruption, determines foreign and economic policies, undermines democracy and creates widespread suffering.
By revealing how this trade really works, we aim to enable audiences to decide for themselves whether this multi-billion dollar trade that has been constructed as inevitable by the media and politicians, and penetrated every layer of our societies, operates in our best interests or actually undermines them. We will explore how greater transparency and meaningful oversight demanded by ordinary people around the world can change this most secretive and consequential of trades. In the belief that ground-breaking investigation and emotional connection through storytelling is the key to inspiring, empowering and engaging audiences, the approach of the feature documentary is to place fascinating and meticulously researched information before audiences through character-driven narratives. Contextualizing this investigative narrative, The Shadow World will illustrate through compelling, sometimes humorous, footage and the interviews, how the deregulation of the 1980s – including changes in the military industrial complex, the financial sector and the media sector – has cultivated a culture driven by fear, in which our notions of what constitutes security are perceived increasingly and almost exclusively through a militaristic prism. The close relationship among governments, their intelligence agencies, the arms industry, banks and the media-entertainment sector results in constant “justification” for the continued expansion of the global arms trade as the only way to live prosperously and securely, while ignoring the very real and tragic socio-economic, political and human costs. In positing alternatives, the film will not discount issues of insecurity and instability, but will provide and provoke the audience with additional insights that will enable them to come to their own conclusions about whether the arms trade is not an immovable feature of the way we are governed, and whether ultimately the stories we tell and which define us, can lead to the deeper understanding and public will required to make the change.