Gavin Hood’s film Tsotsi won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005. He has directed sci-fi adventures, political thrillers and superhero films; and now with his most recent film, Eye In The Sky, he ventures into a hotbed of terrorist targets in Kenya. Have a listen to our podcast conversation about surveillance, drone missiles, and the moral and ethical dilemmas that drone pilots and their commanders must face.
Eye in The Sky is a terrifying look at remote-control warfare in the controversial form of drone attacks. Hood takes us along the “kill chain” of command and raises many questions about the state of technological warfare today. The film stars Helen Mirren as the colonel in charge of tracking and possibly eliminating militant extremists that have been spotted at a safe house in close proximity to a busy marketplace. Alan Rickman appears in his final performance as the general who has learned to compartmentalize his personal feelings, the often brutal task he oversees, and the grounding of his ordinary daily affairs. He goes from gift shopping to being in a high-tension ops room in London, filled with anxious argumentative ministers, watching the colonel’s tortuous mission unfold before his eyes.
Hood and I talk about the reason he chose to set the film in Africa, and the mind-boggling technology of drones. We discuss the difficult dilemmas these young pilots face when it comes to pulling the trigger. The military drone operation we witness in the film may be fictional, but Hood is swift to point out that once the film was in the can, the situation that was fiction in the film found startling connections to recent British involvements.
Hood also talks about the bugs we see in the film and the technology used, “You feel you can pause anywhere, and pause on the beetle, and wonder where this weapon technology is going.” He says.
Take a listen to our conversation about Eye In The Sky.