Shadow of the Holy Book (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Shadow of the Holy Book 2007

Pyhän kirjan varjo

Directed by Arto Halonen

International corporate support for the bizarre and appalling regime that controls Turkmenistan is the subject of this indecently entertaining exposé, made in Michael Mooreish style.

Denmark / Finland / Switzerland In Turkmen with English subtitles
90 minutes DigiBeta

Director, Screenplay

Photography

Hannu Vitikainen
,
Arto Halonen

Editor

Samu Heikkilä

Music

Timo Peltola

Festivals

Amsterdam Documentary 2007

Elsewhere

International corporate support for the bizarre and appalling regime that controls Turkmenistan is the subject of this gleeful exposé made in Michael Mooreish style by Finnish director Arto Halonen and American journalist Kevin Frazier. The Holy Book in question is the Ruhnama, a preposterous pack of partially invented myths, rules of conduct and tributes to himself published in 2001 by Saparmurat Niyazov, the country's dictator. Immediately it became the keystone of Niyazov worship, compulsory reading for all citizens. Turkmenistan possesses huge natural gas deposits and oil reserves. Why else would so many of the world's biggest companies have translated the Ruhnama into their native languages? The blatant human rights violations carried out by this insanely grandiose regime, and international corporate collusion in upholding its heinous ideology, are zealously uncovered in this indecently entertaining film. — BG