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Under the Shadow

ALT | Altered States

With the Iran-Iraq conflict raging and air-raid sirens echoing through the streets of Tehran, Shideh (Narges Rashidi) discovers that her apartment is far from a sanctuary when a missile crashes through the roof but unnervingly fails to detonate. The sense of Damoclean dread is stoked to almost excruciating levels when an ancient, evil djinn manifests and malevolently targets her young daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi), leaving the girl sickly and disturbed.

A shadowy presence rendered in Lovecraftian broad strokes rather than intricate detail, the amorphous djinn quickly establishes itself as the most terrifying paranormal trespasser since The Babadook. However, the real horror arrives courtesy of the realization that the streets outside of Shideh’s apartment are now populated by zealots who possess nothing but contempt for an independent woman such as herself. Consequently, Shideh has no other choice but to stand her ground within the crumbling walls of her home and fight for her daughter’s future… Director Babak Anvari has crafted a small-scale masterpiece rich in subtext.

"[A] delectable, increasingly unnerving shiver-fest… Making the most of a limited budget and two strong female leads, Mr. Anvari turns the everyday into the otherworldly using a medley of genre tricks, though mostly through the bracing idea that the Iranian revolution is itself a horror tale haunting one and all."—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Director Babak Anvari
Country of Origin: UK/Jordan/Qatar
Year: 2015
Running Time: 84 mins
Format: DCP
Cast: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Ray Haratian, Hamidreza Djavdan, Soussan Farrokhnia
Executive Producer: Sanjay Shah, Nick Harbinson, Patrick Fischer, Duncan McWilliam, Khaled Haddad
Producer: Lucan Toh, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill
Screenwriter: Babak Anvari
Cinematographer: Kit Fraser
Editor: Chris Barwell
Production Design: Nasser Zoubi
Music: Gavin Cullen, Will McGillivray
Production Company: Wigwam Films / Creativity Capital / Mena Film
Print Source: The Festival Agency

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