A couple of films and plays have come out recently that look at what it’s like to be a drone pilot.
They focus on the stress and trauma that it inflicts on pilots, as they blow up and murder targets at the press of a joystick button.
This reflects a broader shift in US culture, in response to George W Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Iraq led to a series of anti-war films—alongside reactionary action films such as The Hurt Locker.
The material also became much darker now. Good Kill is based around US Air Force pilot Tom Egan (Ethan Hawke).
He’s lost his wings, and now commands a drone unit from a bunker outside Las Vegas.
We see them going through the motions of firing drones again and again.
The film is trying to explore the disconnect between killing and not seeing the victims.
“I blew away six Taliban in Pakistan today, now I’m going home to barbecue,” says Egan.
It’s partly a reaction to war. But it’s subject matter means that drone films purely focus on the soldiers personal struggles, not the people the US is murdering.
That’s the real problem with drone films.
The soul and Motown show
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