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5000 Feet is the Best

5000 FEET IS THE BEST (5000 Feet is the Best) Omer Fast, D/USA 2011, 30 min

The film is based on two meetings with a Predator drone operator which were recorded in a hotel in Las Vegas in september 2010. On camera, the drone operator agreed to discuss the technical aspects of his job and his daily routine. Off camera and off the record, he briefly described recurring incidents in which the unmanned plane fired at both militants and civilians - and the psychological difficulties he experienced as a result - before breaking the interview off.

Instead of looking for the appropriate news accounts or documentary footage to augment his redacted story, the video is deliberately miscast and misplaced: it follows an actor cast as the drone operator who grudgingly sits for an interview in a dark hotel. The interview is repeatedly interrupted by the actor's digressions, which take the viewer on meandering trips around Las Vegas. Told in quick flashbacks, the stories form a circular plot that nevertheless returns fitfully to the voice and blurred face of the drone pilot - and to his unfinished story.

Biography of Omer Fast

Omer Fast was born in Jerusalem in 1972. He holds a BA in English from Tufts University, a BFA in Visual Arts from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts and an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. Since finishing his studies in 2000, Fast has participated in over 150 international exhibitions, including solo shows at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Dallas Museum of Art and Museum of
Modern Art in Vienna. Group exhibitions include dOCUMENTA13, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Fast received the Bucksbaum award for his work “The Casting” at the Whitney Biennial in 2008 and has also won the National Galerie’s Prize for Young Art in Berlin in 2009 with his work “Nostalgia”. His work is in several international collections including Tate Modern, the Guggenheim Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou.

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Press Coverage

Blurred or pixellated faces mean truth; odd camera angles and tracking shots its opposite. It isn’t what we are shown that makes us believe. It is how we are shown it. (...) I doubt, having seen 5,000 FEET IS THE BEST, that you will ever look at the news in quite the same way again. (The Independent, 21.05.2014, Charles Darwent)

Awards and Festivals