A Las Vegas-based fighter pilot turned drone pilot fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. But the pilot is starting to question the mission. Is he creating more terrorists than he's killing? Is he fighting a war without end.Written by
Toronto International Film Festival
Egan says he took his wife up in his F-16 on their first date. F-16s are single seaters. Actually there are some two-seaters (general officers have to fly with another pilot), but civilians very rarely get a flight in an F-16. Usually congressman, VIPs, special press, but NEVER girlfriends or spouses. See more »
War ethics? Psychological effects of killing people through a screen? Well worth the detour...
About 20 minutes in I started to really gravitate to the subject material. I didn't realize this was going to be a film that would capture my attention as much as it did.
The main story is about the drone operators in our armed services, and his life while doing a job that requires taking lives all too frequently. Its very interesting, watching the psychological stresses of "being a fly on the wall," much less a fly with the option to light your day up.
Basically, a drone operator's job consists of killing and spying on terrorists.
As a part of a drone team currently operating various military and CIA operations, the main characters live in Vegas, and pretty much do this from their local office just down the road from home.
So these "soldiers" don't tour like a normal soldier might. They're posted locally... And their jobs do not require travel with today's communication tech.
You see, They get into their car... Drive to an undisclosed military base (close by daily commute)... Walk into a trailer loaded with state of the art communications and drone equipment... Sit down at their station... And kill people on the other side of the planet through a monitor with super HD resolution. (Military tech blows your progressive scan out of the water, just saying.)
The job is far from a normal one...
"You punch out... You drive home to your picture perfect neighborhood, your picture perfect family, but the images stay with you... Your actions... Stay with you."
Hands down a great topic to base a film on. Really enjoying it thoroughly...
By 40 minutes into this film, every news report I've seen on drones, every public debate and moral argument about the accountability in drone strikes... It all shot to the front of my thoughts as John Stewart rants suddenly came into focus.
A worthy watch... Real eye opener to how easily these resources could be abused and miss used by our shadowy government structure.
Leaves so many ethical boundaries scathed by the existence of this truly "hands off" way of going to war... And the kicker?
We've been doing it for years.
Its no wonder America is so hated...
Great film. Does a wonderful job exploring the arguments from every side... And makes some great points that show how grey war and terrorism can become.
At what point does "fighting terrorism" cross that line? When do the protectors of freedom become another societies terrorist?
This all comes into question as the supervisors of the drone teams make it very clear to them that their mission is a "Pre-Emptive Strike" against terrorism.
It touches on so many conversations that would demand too much accountability... Yet, our continued actions literally propel a cycle of violence forward by becoming the "PreEmptive" strikers.
It does good making the viewer aware of the potential "other side" perspective on how American's operate. It does a better job showing the psychological effects on the drone pilots that are forced to follow questionably unethical orders... Day, after day, after day.
I gotta say... Its a dialog that needs to happen. I'm really pleased someone made this film. They pulled together an excellent presentation of the issue while entertaining me with solid performances and an occasionally moving script.
This is a great film for anyone who wants to learn about what our military is doing and how drone strikes work... It keeps you engaged once you're in, offers a fair amount of big moments to chew on, and ultimately weaves a great story. Dare I say, its as good as American Sniper... Just in different ways. You can tell the films are by two completely different teams. But thats not to say the stories aren't equally compelling in nature.
I have to say that beyond the movie... Its awesome to see Ethan Hawke in so many interesting roles over the last couple years.
Totally worth your time. Great film.
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