Magazine article Screen International

Drones

Magazine article Screen International

Drones

Article excerpt

Dir: Rick Rosenthal. UK. 2013. 82mins

Though it started life as a stage production, the 'plucked from the headlines' storymatter of low-budget British film Drones makes for perfect film material as it delves into the moral and ethical dilemmas facing USAF drone pilots as they send their missile-carrying craft into Afghanistan or Pakistan to reign terror on unknowing human targets.

The screenplay by Matt Witten, (who has written for television productions such as House and Homicide) nicely blends real thrills with the complex moral dilemmas about drone warfare.

Matt Witten's screenplay may, by its origins and nature, feel rather static and stagebound, but given the story is set in real time its sheer tense nature more than makes up for any quibbles about staging. The film premiered at the London Film Festival.

The film is essentially a two-hander, set against the backdrop of a USAF base in Nevada where experienced drone pilot jack (Matt O'Leary) is mentoring Lieutenant Sue Lawson (Eloise Mumford, who featured in TV series The River). She identifies high-level Al-Qaeda target Mahmoud Khalil (Amir Khalighi) from high over Afghanistan, and prepares for a missile attack. …

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