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January 8–14, 2016

Chicago Premiere


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Film still: Drone Film still: Drone
Best Documentary
Human Rights Award
Bergen Intl
Film Fest
"[A] cool-headed, finely constructed documentary on the newest, most controversial method of warfare"
  —The Guardian
"A solid, thought-provoking documentary... [director Tonje Hessen Schei] makes some genuinely troubling observations regarding the psychology of distance"
  —Los Angeles Times
"Effective and clear-headed"
  —Hollywood Reporter
  —Village Voice
"Tonje Hessen Schei's examination of the CIA drone war stings like a splash of iodine on a fresh cut: painful but necessary"
  —Chicago Reader

The armed drone is the defining weapon in the War on Terror, and one of the most controversial. First praised for surgical precision, laser-like focus and a capacity to reduce collateral damage, the drone has come to represent a reckless industrialized killing program reviled across the world. This includes the development of "militainment" programs, in which video-games are basically used as both a recruiting tool and a means of making military violence appear as an innocuous part of everyday life.

Featuring survivors and those who live under constant threat of drone strikes, activist lawyers attempting to use international courts to stop the program, military analysts who still maintain their efficacy and Brandon Bryant, a former drone pilot turned vocal critic, Drone offers an absorbing and revelatory perspective on this disturbing weaponry. This film gives a voice to the criticasters (victims and perpetrators) fighting for openness, responsibility and justice, making a convincing case for the great urgency of a political, legal and above all moral debate on the use of drones.

Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, 2014, Norway/Pakistan/U.S.A., 78 mins. In English, Urdu and Pushto with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Jan. 8 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Jan. 9 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Jan. 10 at 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Jan. 11–14 at 7 & 9 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation