It doesn’t matter how much developed nations progress. How far science and technology drive any given society forward. Whilst capitalism exists in its current form, the rich will always get richer, the poor will always get poorer. Any cost-saving measures or industrial innovations come at the expense of jobs. Reduced prices for increasingly fragile labour rights. It’s a theme Erdem Tepegoz picks up in his new film In the Shadows.
In a dystopian near-future, Zait (Numan Acar) toils day in, day out, in a coal factory. Along with a group of equally beleaguered people who work long hours for a handful of food, he obeys orders from a faceless surveillance system. The ‘Miner’ begins to question this infallible structure after noticing small anomalies and contracting an unknown skin disease. As he investigates these suspicions and tries to contact the ‘Officials’, it becomes increasingly apparent that something isn’t right.
In the Shadows occupies a space in a universe between Dostoevsky and Gilliam in terms of tone and intention. Tepegoz transports us to a world which hovers betwixt Siberian gulag and a post-apocalyptic 1984. Is Zait’s interminable existence merely to serve a greater common good or is there a more nefarious driver behind this construction? In the Shadows keeps its audience in the dark as its increasingly perturbed hero slowly moves towards revelation. An intensely thoughtful and intentionally oblique socio-political critique.
In the Shadows screens at Glasgow Film Festival