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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2015: Drone

Drone

The controversy surrounding US drone strikes is explored in Drone.  Shortly after the attacks of 9/11, the CIA announced to George W. Bush that they had the capability to arm drones.  Drone strikes went on to become the defining weapon of the War on Terror, with the main selling point by politicians being that these strikes don’t endanger the lives of soldiers or innocent civilians.  However, evidence from former drone operators and the survivors of drone strikes show that this is not the case.

The goal of Drone is to show that the only thing that drone strikes are accomplishing is the dehumanization of war.  Drone operators sit in front of a blurry green screen and have to make life or death decisions based on silhouetted targets.  In addition, the military have also begun recruiting drone operators through “militainment” video games.  The main subject of Drone is former operator Brandon Bryant, who now speaks out against drone strikes.  The film also looks at victims in Pakistan and the efforts of human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith to make the US accountable for their actions, which has indeed taken countless innocent lives.

Drone is forecasting a scary forecast for warfare, which is straight out of a science fiction story.  As drone technology gets better, it will eventually become fully automated and future wars will be practically fought by robots.  With 87 countries currently having drone technology, it is only a matter of time before the United States’ enemies adapt drones for their own purposes.  While Drone does look at both sides of this controversy, the ultimate message of the film is that drone strikes are forever changing the state of war and probably not for the best.  This is a film to see and get frightened for the future.

★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT

Screenings:

  • Fri, Apr 24, 3:45 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
  • Sat, Apr 25, 4:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
  • Sat, May 2, 10:30 AM – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).