Anyone the least bit familiar with Western/White culture is bound to laugh himself silly at the fundamental premise of Eye in the Sky.
For the last five centuries, the dominant civilization/culture/race has been the White martial culture feverishly pursuing booty wherever it may be found no matter the cost to victims.
Britain, America, Netherlands, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Russia, South Africa and Italy have run rampage on colored people worldwide via colonialism and apartheid, neo-colonialism in the form of runaway capitalism and so called ‘free trade’ policies, and lately through reckless use of drones and other hi-tech weaponry by the military-industrial complex in the bloody war on terror oops War on Muslims.
In marital cultures, collateral damage is par for the course, never given a second thought in the military-industrial complex’ frenzied thirst for profits and blood lust of politicians and people for glory and victory in war.
American drones have killed 172-207 children in Pakistan alone since 2004. Neither Americans nor the Brits would spend even a nanosecond worrying about a Black girl sitting near a drone missile target.
The central element of Eye in the Sky is the hesitation a bunch of powerful military and political figures in Britain and America ‘feel’ about firing a drone missile at a compound in Kenya where some Al Shabbah militants are holed up and plotting a suicide attack.
The folks in suits and the ones in military fatigues in UK and America spend 80% of the movie arguing over whether to fire the missile on the target compound because a young African girl Alia is selling bread in the vicinity of the target.
If a missile is fired on the compound, the innocent child selling bread outside will most certainly die.
Director Gavin Hood plays with viewers’ emotions by keeping the young girl in focus so that he can position the film as a moral dilemma confronting decision-makers in England and America about firing the drone missile.
Hood (a South African White guy) offers a completely false premise for his movie because in reality there’s no moral dilemma since America and UK have already killed thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen including several hundred children in drone missile attacks. Even wedding and funeral processions in Afghanistan and Pakistan have not been spared drone missile attacks.
In England, Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) and her boss General Frank Benson (the late Alan Rickman) are itching to fire the drone missile arguing for the larger interests of preventing the suicide bomber from inflicting mass casualties. The higherups in America are gungho about the attack and only two low-level military grunts at the Nevada drone base with their hands on the trigger of the drone joy-stick seem uneasy about killing the young girl.
When the West inflicts violence on colored folks, they always throw in high moral imperatives like civilizing the natives, culling the ‘radical’ Islamic herd and killing a few to prevent mass deaths (Harry Truman’s excuse for dropping nukes on Japan and the main argument by the key military and political figures in this film too).
Although the acting is first-rate and director Gavin Hood builds up the tension artfully, the deceit of spending 80% of the movie arguing about collateral damage (the young girl) turns Eye in the Sky into a huge fraud.
Plus, there’s the unstated huge benefit for the military-industrial-complex because each hellfire drone missile costs upward of $115,000 and every strike can be massively publicized as a victory against terrorism.
Eye in the Sky has a bunch of things in its favor.
Toward the end, a frustrated Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) orders a Black underling to falsify collateral area damage estimates because she’s bent on firing the missile into the compound and killing the supposedly dangerous ‘terrorists’ assembled there including two Britons and an American.
The irony of the White woman, Colonel Powell, ordering her Black Sergeant to falsify the data (even as both know the young Black girl will die) so that she can justify the missile strike is brilliant and redeems director Gavin Hood to some degree.
Ultimately, the young African girl, Alia, is killed in the missile strike. She is barely alive after the first strike but the second missile strike Colonel Powell orders kills the child.
By ignoring the reality of routine drone killing of children and adults and enveloping American and British decision-makers into a fictional shroud of moral quandary, Gavin Hood has perpetrated one of the great frauds in movie history and turns the film into a silly affair.
Of course, American and British reviewers are thrilled with a movie that shows the West as morally and emotionally torn about collateral damage and gave the film 93% on RT.
In truth, the vast majority of Brits and Americans don’t care a fig for the daily drone strikes that kills innocent children and adults overseas and that showed in the attendance today. There were barely 15 people for the Friday matinee show at a theater on the U.S. East Coast.