Hollywood’s attempts to explore the topic of drone warfare in recent times have been extensive: from the broadly successful Eye in the Sky and Good Kill to the offensively trivialising London Has Fallen. But Kennebeck’s disquieting documentary demonstrates how vital it is to deal with this controversial subject in factual terms. Executive produced by Wim Wenders and Errol Morris, and featuring some eerily beautiful drone’s-eye shots, National Bird presents the testimonies of PTSD-suffering drone pilots and the survivors of drone strikes. The result fascinates as much as it disturbs: it serves as an indictment of the Obama administration’s use of drones in Afghanistan, as well as an exploration of how people fight through guilt and trauma in order to salvage their humanity when faced with inhumane weapons.
National Bird | Directed by Sonia Kennebeck (USA 2016). Starts May 18
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