Law Text Culture


The 2016 film, Eye in the Sky (Eye), features contestation among lawyers, politicians, and military personnel as to law’s values, meanings, and consequences. In other words, Eye is animated by jurisprudence. As jurisprudence, Eye represents contemporary drone warfare as a highly regulated legal system structured around an ethical valuing of civilian life. Given that drone warfare is known yet secret, by rendering drone warfare vivid and visible, what legal system does Eye construct, which jurisprudential questions are asked, and which are occluded? Drawing on scholarship relating to minor jurisprudence, and spectacular war, this essay argues that Eye dazzles us with technology, and an acute questioning of law, to distract us from first, concealments and erasures accompanying drone warfare, and second, a legitimation of the controversial international law principle, responsibility to protect. In the process, by rendering visible a particular set of actors, narratives, and questions, while concealing and erasing others, Eye legitimises drone warfare and valorises its actors, institutions, practices, and technologies.