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History is horror. Greedy men fight for land, for power. Those who step out of line are often executed. War robs children of their parents. Freedom loses to fascism. What can we do to persevere? What use is our religion but as a tool of our oppressors? Can we fight totalitarianism with disobedience? Can even our fairy tales find light in the darkest of times?

The Cadaver Dogs dive into some of their favorite flicks! First is Academy Award winner Guillermo Del Toro’s dark fantasy, PAN’S LABYRINTH (2006), mistranslated from the original title, “El Laberinto Del Fauno” or “The Labyrinth of the Faun”. Set in Franco’s Spain, a dictatorship which emerged after the Spanish Civil War, Ofelia explores a magical gateway in hopes of escaping her reality to a better plane.

We then jump forward to the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War in UNDER THE SHADOW (2016), a BAFTA winning film from director Babak Anvari. Here the ghostly djinn are as malicious as the bombs and missiles dropping on Tehran, as themes of motherhood and feminism emerge to the front line.

We’ll highlight these concepts and discuss both movies’ use of symbolism and metaphor, as well as provide some useful historical context. Which is stronger: harsh reality or gorgeous fantasy?


“Francisco Franco and the Spanish Civil War,” by Khan Academy

“Why Iranian women are posting pictures of their uncovered hair,” by Vox

“March 8, 1979 Iranian Women March Against Hijab and Islamic Laws,” by Arjang Sepasi (translation of report on Women’s March)




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Cover art by Omri Kadim. Theme by Adaam James Levin Areddy. Music featured in this episode: Beautiful and Mysterious by Ross Bugden, Alone by Aakash Gandhi.