Eye in the Sky - Drone Warfare is Complicated, Okay?

Eye in the Sky - Drone Warfare is Complicated, Okay?

Eye in the Sky is a film designed to take a deep look at drone strikes in the Middle East. It's a thrilling, thought-provoking watch.

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Bottom Line: Topical, powerful, and presents several points of view, Eye in the Sky is probably the best movie about drone strikes yet.

But...but...but what about that god-awful RoboCop movie from a few years ago?

:P

Huh. I would never expect a major movie to look at ALL sides of the debate about drones, rather than just go straight to "ALL DRONES ARE BAD! NO ARGUEMENTS!" and leave it there. A lot of American media goes to that route, even with no nuance.

Darth_Payn:
Huh. I would never expect a major movie to look at ALL sides of the debate about drones, rather than just go straight to "ALL DRONES ARE BAD! NO ARGUEMENTS!" and leave it there. A lot of American media goes to that route, even with no nuance.

American media has largely transformed in to Facebook's clickbait feed; They don't report, they react.

As for me, I think using drones in war is a good idea. People want their country to be kept safe, but they aren't willing to put their safety and lives on the line. So it falls to robots to pick up the slack. Besides, who's to say that a squad of soldiers on the ground wouldn't make the same mistake as the drone pilot?

And another casualty in a bad week of news from the Escapist is a friend of mine...

I know you'll find work again elsewhere Marter! o:

Caramel Frappe:
I was hoping that the movie wouldn't hold back on the horror aspects... but i'm glad it gave you a startling impression regardless.

Might go see it for myself, only because my political teacher from 2 semesters ago gave us a true story about Drone warfare and how it kills way more innocents than the actual threats.

Really? Does it? Or does it take out many more non-essential targets than the person they're trying to take out. There's a rather large difference between hitting a terrorist cell and killing a bunch of mooks while missing whatever cheese you're after and outright killing a bunch of innocents. Since the drone strike reports have not been declassified, there's exactly zero ways to tell which it is.

Sounds like a lot better drone-strike discussion than the one in Spectre. There my reaction to the speech against drones and for far more responisble 00 agents was "Didn't the movie start with 007 assasinating a guy for no better reason than his dead boss having left him a message asking him too? Okay, Bond overheard him planning to bomb a stadium, but I didn't get the impression Bond knew about that, or wouldn't have shot him if he hadn't heard that."

And then later in the movie, Bond has found the coordinates for the villains high tech lair in the middle of the desert, clearly visible on Q's satalite image. My thoughts then were "Oh, Bond's going to walk right up to the place and get himself disarmed by polite request, then captured and tortured? This actually sounds like the perfect moment for a drone strike."

TBC, I'm not a fan of drone warfare IRL (not so much the drones themselves as the notion that the US feels free to bomb any country they please with them), but Spectre did such a spectacularly bad job at arguing it's point. In the situations it created, drone strikes actually seemed the more sensible option.

Nice to see some human balance being portrayed for once. There are many questions to be answered for and against drone strikes. It's a pity to see such overzealous use of a relatively fresh technology by a self-identifying world moral police force. Hollywood takes its' time, but eventually they do get to important conversations. Am personally quite glad Alan Rickman gets to have a worthy send-off performance considering his recent passing.

ravenshrike:
Really? Does it? Or does it take out many more non-essential targets than the person they're trying to take out. There's a rather large difference between hitting a terrorist cell and killing a bunch of mooks while missing whatever cheese you're after and outright killing a bunch of innocents. Since the drone strike reports have not been declassified, there's exactly zero ways to tell which it is.

IIRC, the US revealed it has a formula for how many innocents they can kill in a strike. I believe something like one kid for a dozen suspected terrorists is a free pass.

008Zulu:
As for me, I think using drones in war is a good idea. People want their country to be kept safe, but they aren't willing to put their safety and lives on the line. So it falls to robots to pick up the slack. Besides, who's to say that a squad of soldiers on the ground wouldn't make the same mistake as the drone pilot?

Well, they are likely to have a better view of things. There's a reason why the military still trains scouts.

Mind you, drone strikes get a bad reputation because of how they are used, not because of the drones themselves. Piloted planes performing air strikes don't seem to have the same reputation.

thaluikhain:

Well, they are likely to have a better view of things. There's a reason why the military still trains scouts.

Mind you, drone strikes get a bad reputation because of how they are used, not because of the drones themselves. Piloted planes performing air strikes don't seem to have the same reputation.

Snowden did leak that video of an American helicopter murdering a group of civilians. I think it's just people having an irrational fear of machines. Too many Terminator movies (I mean that both literally and figuratively).

008Zulu:
Snowden did leak that video of an American helicopter murdering a group of civilians. I think it's just people having an irrational fear of machines. Too many Terminator movies (I mean that both literally and figuratively).

If you mean the one I think you mean, that wasn't murder as such, that was completely being wrong about what they were seeing. If they saw what they thought they saw, then the first attack was fine...second a bit murky either way.

I'm interested.

...I'm considering it.

I just looked up if my cinema is showing it, and they are.

Guess that's that, then. Won't be able to take any of my family or friends to a military/political thriller, but I loved Sicario enough to see it twice, and I feel like I'll go for this too.

thaluikhain:

ravenshrike:
Really? Does it? Or does it take out many more non-essential targets than the person they're trying to take out. There's a rather large difference between hitting a terrorist cell and killing a bunch of mooks while missing whatever cheese you're after and outright killing a bunch of innocents. Since the drone strike reports have not been declassified, there's exactly zero ways to tell which it is.

IIRC, the US revealed it has a formula for how many innocents they can kill in a strike. I believe something like one kid for a dozen suspected terrorists is a free pass.

Which is entirely different from "a true story about Drone warfare and how it kills way more innocents than the actual threats" It's also only a formula, not a statistic. While considered acceptable, that doesn't mean it happens in the majority of strikes.

Best Movie of the Year! I know the year is only 1/4 over. It would be very tough to beat this movie. I would be very surprise there would be more than five movies better than this one this year.

The subject matter is dry and depressing. Yet, this movie is done in a masterful, suspenseful way. It will keep you guessing. It also have brief moments of wit. Mostly from Alan Rickman's character. The movie closest to the feel of Eye In The Sky would be Dr. Strangelove. The debates about the legal, moral, and politics of drone warfare rings brutally honest and absurd. Helen Mirren is perfect as the colonel who is consistently advocating for immediate approval for a drone strike. The whole cast is perfect. This movie would have you change you mind about drone warfare at least 2 or 3 times. In the end, the movie doesn't tell you what to believe about it. It treats the audience with respect and treats the issue with intelligence.

I can't think of anything else to say, but see it. You can't complain about sequels and comic book movies. If you don't support well made and intelligent original movies like Eye In The Sky.

Marter:
I would put money on the number of theatrical films dealing with this issue being less than five. And that's a little odd considering how many drone strikes take place every year, and how complicated an issue it is to talk about.

I don't see how it's particularly odd. Firstly, how many films are there on any other military support role? There are plenty following people on the front lines, but I can't think of any films watching an artillery crew lobbing shells from kilometres away or anything similar. The only thing that comes close would be Dambusters. Why would you expect there to be more films like this just because they involved drones?

And that leads to the second point - this film doesn't actually appear to have anything to do with drones anyway. While I haven't seen it, the description suggests that every single mention of "drone" could be replaced with "ground attack aircraft" and not make any difference whatsoever. The point is the ethics and bureaucracy involved in making a decision whether to attack a target knowing there will be collateral damage. Drone, manned aircraft, cruise missile, artillery - the specific tool used to attack is irrelevant when the question at hand is whether you should be attacking at all.

Ahh drone strikes, the newest hot topic in the, "how do we fight wars without killing innocents" debate.

Caramel Frappe:
snip

ravenshrike:
snap

Wanted to quote you both on the discussion about innocents killed in drone strikes. The problem with the statistics either way is that, like so many other statistics, context and belief are key. So let's give a common hypothetical and analyze it.

You have 3 terror suspects that intel has traced to working out of a village near the Pakistan/Afghan border. This village is under surveillance via various methods for 6 weeks. The villagers are supporters of the cell acting out of there and provide a safe haven as well as acting as a base of operations for the distribution of narcotics, weapons and ammo. This cell is believed to be responsible for two attacks on allied convoys and a suicide attack on a girl's school in Afghanistan. So, we send in a drone strike that hits the building being used as the weapons depot and two other houses where the cell is habitating.

So, when the dead are counted up, you've destroyed the depot, killed all three terrorists, killed 4 male adults, 2 young adult men, 3 women and a child aged 6 and another aged 1. If you are the one who pulled the trigger on this attack, you are likely to count the dead like this: 9 militants killed, 5 civilians killed. If you are against drone strikes you will probably count the dead like this: 3 militants killed, 11 civilians killed. The discrepancy here being that the Army would consider adult men and young adult men to be militants since they are supporting the actions/supplying aid to the cell. Those against drone strikes would only consider the three terrorists themselves to be properly counted as militants and the rest as non-combatant civilians. With such a massive discrepancy in the way casualties are counted, it's no surprise that people can offer statistics like, "U.S. drone strikes kill more civilians than militants," while another study will insist the number of civilians killed is much lower.

Did Cinemarter quitted like -moviebob?

 

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