AFF 2013 Review: DRONES

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

Writer Matt Witten’s script was originally written as a stage play, but before audiences would see it performed in a theater, his intense, disturbing and thoughtful story was quickly made into a film. Director Rick Rosenthal and actors Eloise Mumford and Matt O’Leary do outstanding work in bringing this highly relevant and realistic tale to life.  Because AFF is called, “The Writers Festival”, this is the perfect film to showcase, as it perfectly illustrates how a simple production, two talented actors and a solid screenplay are all that is needed to make an excellent film.

Mumford stars as Lt. Sue Lawson, an Air Force pilot assigned to the drone program, stationed in a Nevada desert. Sue and her new partner Jack Bowles (O’Leary) pilot a drone flying over Afghanistan, doing surveillance over the home of terrorist Mahmoud Kahlil’s family. When it becomes apparent that Kahlil will return home for a family gathering with children and older relatives in attendance, Sue and Jack receive orders to terminate Kahlil.  The situation grows more complicated when the military’s intel on Kahlil appears questionable and when it becomes impossible to avoid killing innocent children at the party.

This truly is an intense and harrowing film that will make audiences ponder the impact of advanced technology on our military’s decisions and how this will change our impact on the world at large. Witten’s script really gets into the morality and psyche of military personnel faced with these life and death decisions every day. Both Eloise Mumford and Matt O’Leary deliver excellent performances in their roles.  If looking for a thought provoking and relevant movie, look no further. Drones is a must see.

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