Eye In the Sky, directed by Gavin Hood (Rendition) and script by Guy Hibbert, is a taut thriller that reveals not even drone warfare is clear-cut.
The film’s focus is on a house in a Kenyan village where a small group of terrorists are meeting. UK, US and Kenyan political and military personnel watch them via a live surveillance feed.
Meanwhile Kenyan troops are on standby ready to go in and capture the terrorists until surveillance shows the terrorists leaving the house. They drive to another neighborhood one “friendly” to the terrorists. Once there a member of the group makes suicide vests. This two events make firing a hellfire missile from a drone an option.
The leaders of the operation Colonial Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) and Lt. General Frank Benson ( the late Alan Rickman) want to fire the missile. The politicians do not and want the original plan to go forward. Whereas Powell and Benson argue capture is no longer possible given the suicide vests and the new neighborhood.
The debate intensifies when a girl arrives to sell bread. She stations herself just outside the terrorist house. Unknowingly the girl drastically ups the consequences of any action taken. None of the film’s answers are definite including whether to launch the missile or not. The only thing that is clear in the film is the moral equation is terribly high.