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Shadow of the Holy Book (2007)
"Pyhän kirjan varjo" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 204 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 6 critic

A look at how multinational corporations curried favor with Saparmurat Niyazov (1940-2006), the despot of oil- and gas-rich Turkmenistan, primarily through translating "Ruhnama," his ... See full summary »


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A look at how multinational corporations curried favor with Saparmurat Niyazov (1940-2006), the despot of oil- and gas-rich Turkmenistan, primarily through translating "Ruhnama," his autobiographical book of cultural musings, into many languages and providing testimonials that legitimized his murderous dictatorship. Two European journalists interview Turkman dissidents and try, without success, to get statements from multinationals such as Çalik Holdings, Siemens, Daimler-Chrysler, John Deere, Caterpillar, and Bouygues Construction as to why they put business interests ahead of human rights. A Finnish CEO provides the solitary moral compass. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Official Sites:


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Release Date:

29 February 2008 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

A Szent Könyv árnyéka  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


€390,240 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

One of the best documentaries I saw last year
18 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a terrific documentary, though you have to get its sense of humor to enjoy it. The point of the film is to show how ridiculous these big international companies make themselves by doing anything and everything to flatter the dictator of Turkmenistan and help support his regime. The film is very funny, and it really brings out the hypocrisy of these corporations. At the same time, you get a strong sense of how the people in Turkmenistan are being oppressed by their government, and how the corporations help this oppression by making public statements in support of the government. The film also does a nice job of showing the surreal world that the dictator created for himself. I laughed all the way through.

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