Sunday, May 24, 2015

GOOD KILL: Struggling to Bring the Truth of Drone Killing Out of the Shadows

Ethan Hawke in Good Kill
I saw the movie Good Kill last night.  I have five observations (below) but the most important thing I have to say is: anyone who cares about stopping drone killing should take a friend and go see this movie, and then do it again, and again. Here's why . . . .

(1) You can object to the frame of this movie -- US-centric, macho, militaristic -- but that's in fact where the public is starting from.

(2) "Good kill." Wait for the scene when the protagonist describe an attack on a home containing the "target" as well as the target's wife and children. And then the attack, hours later, on the funeral . . . .

(3)  "It never ends." It's worth it to get people to this movie just for the one-minute long exchange about the rationale for the "war on terror."

(4) "Lawful orders."  The movie is all about being a cog in a machine where all you do is follow someone else's orders, and your thinking is not welcomed. Any kid thinking about enlisting in order to break out of the world they're "stuck" in should see this movie. (See In Whose Machine Will YOU Be a Cog?)

(5) You can object to the fact that the movie focuses on how hard it is on the soldiers. But if we expect soldiers to resist, don't we need to invest the time and energy to empathize with them, too?

I don't know if everyone in the movement to stop drone killing will agree with me about these observations. Drop a comment below -- pro or con -- and let the drone debate proceed!


Take a friend 
and go see Good Kill.

Then do it again. 

And again.

Food for thought: what kind of movies are seen by LARGE numbers of people . . . ?

Related posts

Grounded raises tough questions. I was hoping that the play would challenge the idea that killing people with drones is good. It's a reflection of the seriousness of this work that that is just one of the issues it raises; others include our society's willingness to destroy the people who we employ to "serve" ("serve our country," serve us in general), our culture's worship of violence / use of force, and the consequences of pervasive surveillance.

(See "Everything Is Witnessed": Searching for "the Guilty" in GROUNDED )

In Chicago on Good Friday, 2013 (March 29), a cast consisting of long-time Chicago antiwar activists was joined by a NY playwright (and defendant in actions against US drone bases), Jack Gilroy, for one of the events kicking off a month-long campaign of anti-drones events across the country: a performance of Gilroy's play, The Predator.

(See "The Predator" in Chicago - Good Friday, 2013 - "A Passion Play for the Drones Era")

Eventually, in large part due to Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, the United States was converted from a country in which a small number of people thought slavery needed to be ended into a country determined to act to end slavery. This literary work took the movement wide, and it took it deep.

Why is a novel an important tool for creative resistance?

(See Creative Resistance 101: Uncle Tom's Cabin )

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