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The surreal world of the drone pilot: ‘5000ft Is The Best’ at the Imperial War Museum

Posted at 9:20 am, August 14, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment

When the United States wants to kill people in places it technically isn’t allowed to – Pakistan, say, or Yemen – it increasingly uses drones. And the person controlling them is often thousands of miles away in the Nevada Desert.

The phenomenon of the telecommuting warrior is the topic of Omer Fast’s short film, 5000ft Is The Best, now showing at the partly re-opened Imperial War Museum. Running as part of the IWM Contemporary strand, the film takes a real interview with a drone pilot, recreates the conversation with actors, then dramatises and re-imagines his account to unsettling effect. The narrative becomes increasingly disorientating, confusing time and place, and raising questions about the nature of contemporary warfare.

You can watch a ten minute excerpt above. For the remaining twenty, visit the Imperial War Museum before Sep 29 – there’s a talk with the artist on Sep 28, too.

by Guy Parsons.

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