Omer Fast's work is an exploration of the blurred line between fiction and reality. He often invites the audience to consider
the relationship between an individual's story and a wider narrative. In doing this he highlights the way in which narratives are deliberately constructed by the media, in the cinema and when we explain ourselves or tell a story to others.
Much of his recent work is set within a context of conflict and in this film, 5000 Feet is the Best, he explores the controversial subject of drone warfare.
Fast conducted several interviews with a former drone operator over a number of days in a Las Vegas hotel. These interviews form the basis for this film, which takes its name from the optimum flying height of a Predator drone. In the film, the drone operator, his face blurred, recounts his experiences of combat and the psychological impact of his missions. The unsettling contrast between the operator's voice-over and Fast's aerial film footage of idyllic, small-town New England prompts the viewer into questioning what they have seen.
As the film progresses these interviews are interwoven with scripted conversations with a fictional drone operator, derived
from stories that the artist was told off the record. Avoiding the interviewer's questions, this operator begins to digress into apparently irrelevant anecdotes. In the last of these, a tale of a suburban family outing is violently turned on its head, the certainty of place is called into question. Throughout these interviews this drone operator repeatedly interrupts the conversation to leave the hotel room, as the narrative spirals and becomes increasingly disorientating.
With touches of dark humour Fast presents us with an unnerving challenge to our perception of reality. Without
commenting directly on the moral controversy surrounding drones, Fast probes the shifting nature of the experience and
ethics of contemporary warfare.
Based on a series of interviews conducted in a Las Vegas hotel room with a former drone operator, this film reveals the psychological impact of engaging an enemy from thousands of miles away. Switching between documentary
interview footage and fictionalised re-enactments, Fast creates a multifaceted and unstable sense of reality. Combined with surreal shots of suburban Nevada, the film offers a subtle exploration of how the use of drones is changing the politics, principles and personal experience of contemporary conflict.