There is a famous anecdote which goes like,
“A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed”
Humans as a civilization have always tended to feed the bad wolf. You could make electricity with nuclear technology, but we decided a bomb was more urgent. Now there is another technology which could have been used differently the drone. Unfortunately, to the CIA every tool is a weapon of war. So, they equipped the drone with a missile. It could have been used for so many purposes but it wasn’t. So much so that at least in our country, drones have become a synonym for death. The times of war means that rules for journalism and reporting changes. The battle grounds are no go areas for obvious reasons. So, the official word is the final word. We are well accustomed to having this headline read out in our ever-repeating new bulletins ‘Drone strike in tribal area, x no of terrorists killed’. There is no inquisition, no investigation. There is no story there. That official line is the story.
Until now that is. Directed by internationally acclaimed Jason Bourque, the movie Drone is a story of a father played by Patrick Sabongui, who lost his daughter and his wife in a drone strike. He plays a Pakistani men, who claims to be from Karachi. Now we are quite acquainted with mention of anything Pakistan in the Hollywood. It’s invariably linked to terrorism. This films is different by the face of it. It shows the pains of a Pakistani man. It shows him as the aggrieved party not the stereotypical aggressor. For a change, this seems to be a movie where nationalism seemingly trumps humanity. A spectrum where the story teller is able to look past the terrorism stereotype linked to Pakistan. In the trailer, mention of the Karachi, follows up with the line ‘where the Taliban are’. I particularly looking forward to this scene. By the looks of it, the director is looking for deeper questioning of the popular narrative.
It asks morale questions. Clearly the director is trying to raise questions of the Drone Campaign. The protagonist played by Sean Bean is challenged not just for his day job as a drone operator but the dual life he is living. The father is not there for a confession but for retribution. I am intrigued to see what line the story and dialogue writers have taken in drone operator’s defence if any.
The movie looks a roll coaster ride of drama, and action. However, for us as a country demands something more. It asks us if we value our own? It is questioning our artists, our journalist and our civil society that if we have given up. I understand the grave situation but still, in the face of extreme adversity, we have given up on justice and right not just with drone victims but also all other forms of violence victims. The state may be complacent but the society isn’t knocking them out of their slumber. As for the movie, you can see I have high hopes of it.