Under the Shadow
Tehran, sometime in the mid-to-late 1980s: the Iran-Iraq War is in full effect, with Saddam Hussein’s air forces bombing Tehran mercilessly in an effort to shatter morale. The details of the war are hardly exposited, which is fair: for the citizens caught in the middle, there was no logic or historical context, only two countries with longstanding animosity trying to weaken the other and reclaim land.
Winner of the Grand Rail Audience Award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Tramontane tackles weighty historical and political subject matter in ways that are occasionally moving but too often overly familiar. The Lebanese film (co-produced by French, Qatari, and Emirati companies) uses blindness as its central metaphor, not-too-subtly paralleling the literal blindness of its protagonist with the figurative blindness of a country still grappling with its turbulent recent history.