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New Drone Film Raises Important Questions

NSA drone program

By: Kelli Sladick

DRONES, a film available on demand from iTunes and Amazon, follows two drone operators on a remote location as they face moral dilemmas while tasked with killing suspected terrorist operatives. And while it focuses on the use of drones on the foreign battlefield, the film addresses issues that will soon face us right here at home.

Most people think drone usage is a thing that happens in a far off country. However, next year, the FAA plans to roll out drones in US airspace. With that, comes a lot of issues we need to resolve, including privacy concerns, the possible domestic use of armed drones, and what constitutes acceptable drone missions.

Rick Rosenthal, directed Drones. He said like it or not, drones will play a major role in the future.

“Drones are the future of aerial warfare – and the future is now. And with that future comes a host complex moral issues. The film is neither anti-drone, nor pro-drone – but it is definitely an anti-war film in the way Kubrick’s film PATHS OF GLORY was anti-war. I wanted to make a film that would use a traditional thriller genre to examine several moral dilemmas without being a polemic.”

I asked him what he wants his viewers to take away from this movie.

My hope is that the film DRONES will provoke audiences to ask hard questions about the US drones program, while recognizing that the landscape is never completely black or white.

I asked, Mr. Rosenthal for those thinking about serving the country, if put in the position of being a drone operator what should they be aware of.

“The issue of war without risk to those who engage in combat is one of the central themes of the film DRONES. We are entering the age of war by remote control, combat played out as a video game with incredible collateral damage and yet no immediate consequences for those who engage in air strikes. But there are consequences on both sides and moral quandaries that need to be questioned and examined as never before.”

Unmanned aircraft are going to be flying in our airspace before we know it. The same moral issues we face in war will not change here at home. Just because operators are far removed from combat, doesn’t make it a game. In fact, collateral damage from drone strikes are very real with immense consequences.

Demand of transparency on drone usage. So far 26,000 signatures have been collected. You can sign the petition HERE.

DRONES will have a free screening on demandprogress.tv followed by a question and answer session on Google+. Please check out the website for further information on the free screening.

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