Ladies of Horror: Under the Shadow


Written by Cat Wilson,
Today’s pick is the Farsi-Language war time horror film, Under the Shadow. Shideh was a medical student who is forced to abandon her dreams of becoming a doctor because her past political activism and also because she is a woman. It is the late 1980’s, Shideh’s husband Iraj is drafted to the front lines of Iran-Iraq War leaving her to care for their daughter Dorsa in Tehran. One night during a bombing, a missile lands without exploding on the floor above their apartment. Dorsa believes that a djinn (western audience might recognize this as a genie, a supernatural spirit) beings haunting them. This is a film about systematic oppression. Cultural oppression that prevents Shideh from being a doctor or leaving her house without her chador and the oppression of war. Something especially creative with this film the djinn often takes the shape of a chandor, which the women of Tehran were forced to wear under Sharia Law. It is literally a specter of oppression.