Shako Mako (2019)
“Farah,” a bread seller, walks the streets of a Middle Eastern town, while an American military vehicle, surrounded by soldiers, slowly passes by. A moment’s silence. Then, a devastating explosion. Civilians are bloodied, wounded. The horrors of war. “Farah” looks around aghast and wailing. But nothing here is quite what it seems. In fact, “Farah” is a character played by an aspiring actress called Laila. And this isn’t Iraq, but a replica village erected on the Fort Irwin army base in California, used to train American troops before being sent abroad. Laila believes her acting talents are being wasted away in this arid simulation, where female role-players are limited to mute, background roles. She takes things much more seriously. Laila plots her way out.