“The Drones movies are coming. We’re the first one, but I know that there are films in development now all over,” predicted filmmaker Rick Rosenthal, on hand after a local pre-screening of his Drones at Landmark’s E Street Theatre last week.
The military thriller, which Rosenthal shared was originally a one act play, is tense and moves quickly, exploring the unique set of moral dilemmas that confront our military as it expands its use of robotic weapons.
The story follows two Air Force pilots (Matt O’Leary and Eloise Mumford) — who we learn are both underdogs attempting their own redemptions — operating an unmanned aircraft from a trailer in Nevada. While surveilling a remote compound in Afghanistan, the pair identify a suspected terrorist believed to be a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda. It should be a straightforward mission, but as the movie goes on, the situation grows more and more complicated.
As the mission develops, the pilots start to question not only their actions but also the overall military policy. With time ticking down on their fuel levels and a potential terrorist in their gun sights, the pilots have to make some difficult decisions about their honor and integrity… and careers.
“In the end, we came back to this simple title because we liked the duality of it,” said Rosenthal. “We wanted to try to have the audience see only what our characters saw, so you see Afghanistan only through the eyes of the Drone cameras… but while they are high tech weapons, there is squalor to this type of warfare,” he says about the film’s irony of technology (Rosenthal’s warriors sit safely in a trailer contemplating the safety of the country while fighting with a broken air conditioner).
It’s a gripping — and all too potentially real — story of moral complications and the future of warfare.
*Drones opens in select cities and On Demand on June 27
*Lead photo credit TheDronesMovie.com