Zero Days

Zero Days ★★★½

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Government: scarier than the horror movies.

Alex Gibney’s political documentary Zero Days paints a new modern cold war. A global chess game of comparable egos that have two means of reaching checkmate annihilation: Nuclear Weapons and Cyber Weapons. Both of which are ready to be fired without so much as a congressional vote or word of warning. The only thing holding us back being mutually assured destruction.

It’s a power dynamic you could imagine in Dr. Strangelove, where oligarchs can screw the whole world order and existence before dinner with their capabilities truly left unchecked. Gibney’s film starts with a simple malware called Stuxnet, a virus known for turning off computers around the world; the malware discovered by cyber security analyst, Sergey Ulasen, who unknowingly set up the Pandora’s box of political maneuvers that lead to the Iranian Nuclear Deal; the highlight of the Obama administration that didn’t come easy or safely.

Gibney trudges through the complex chain of command like a spy thriller, detailing the secret cyber attack of the century, Olympic Games, which to this day is heavily redacted by government officials, its existence bleached if not for a few anonymous NSA whistleblowers. He continues to show the extent to which a heated global government can reach, and the moral question of transparency. These government actions themselves being morally confusing and made under tyrannical-like authority, whether the country in question be an Ahmadinejad-lead Iran, a Netanyahu-lead Israel, or the American years under Bush and Obama – all of which are holding their cards to the chest and stuck in political quagmire.

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