Eye in the Sky is a compelling new film that focuses on drone warfare and how it affects everyone involved. The movie stars Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman (in his last role) and Iain Glen. Eye in the Sky is a timely thriller about a terrorist-targeting drone mission that becomes a hot-button when a civilian girl enters the kill zone.
Not only is Eye in the Sky engaging and compelling but it's a fascinating look at how our leaders wage war. It takes us into the control rooms and shipping containers where military personnel make decisions that could result in the deaths of people thousands of miles away.
The goal of British-led Operation Cobra is the capture of Aisha Al Hady (Lex King), a radicalized British citizen who has joined the Somali terrorist group Al Shabab. But their "capture" objective is changed to "kill" when the indomitable Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren), who has been tracking Al Hady for years, learns that Al Shabab is planning suicide attacks. Nevada-based drone operator Steve Watts (Paul) targets Al Shabab's Nairobi safe house but reports back to London that a nine-year-old girl has entered the kill zone. Given the value of the target, could a civilian child be chalked up to collateral damage? Is the potential political fallout worth the risk?
Sensitively and expertly directed by Gavin Hood, Eye in the Sky makes us realize what drone warfare is really like. It takes us behind the scenes as it were to imagine the process that becomes a game of bureaucratic pass-the-buck, with everyone "referring up" the chain of command, through the UK Foreign Secretary (who has food poisoning) and the US Foreign Secretary (busy attending a ping pong tournament in China) all the way up to the Prime Minister. Absolutely no one wants to make the "wrong" decision and take responsibility for their actions.
Gavin Hood is a South African filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and actor, best known for writing and directing Tsotsi, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He also directed the films X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Ender's Game
Barkhad Abdi is a Somali-American actor and director. He made his debut in the 2013 film Captain Phillips, for which he received various film award nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, and BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, the latter of which he won.
Gavin Hood and Barkhad Abdi (who has a pivotal role in the film) discussed working on Eye in the Sky during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival where it had its world Premiere.
Eye in the Sky opens on March 25th.