Zero Days is a fascinating, superbly edited documentary which has the feel of an espionage thriller. It examines the sophisticated ‘hideously over classified’ Stuxnet computer virus, a weapons-grade malware co-developed by the USA and Israel with the intention of disabling Iran’s fuel-enrichment plant at Natanz.

A restrained narration by director/screenwriter Alex Gibney dips in and out alongside an unobtrusive soundtrack and the film is evenly paced, smoothly shifting between scenes. While the technicalities of the Stuxnet marware are explained, the exposition seldom falls outside the understanding of a person with limited knowledge of computer systems. Archive footage adds insight, as do clever graphic interpretations and a simple experiment using a balloon to represent the potential damage caused by the virus, is particularly effective.

Key insiders refuse to comment but US based cyber-security specialists, Eric Chien and Liam O’Murchu, offer the most insightful testaments while a digitised actor voices many behind the scenes NSA workers who are too scared to come forward. This, combined with information leaked by Edward Snowden, offer an allegedly more accurate explanation of governmental decision making and objectives. However, the narrative slows slightly towards the end during prolonged discussion of security.

Zero Days is a bleak and disturbing account of cyber warfare. It illustrates that now the monster has been unleashed, it cannot be restrained which could potentially be devastating for our planet’s population. Ironically it’s the USA that is the most vulnerable.

Caroline Grebbell

Tuesday 21 June, 6.00pm, Cineworld

Saturday 25 June, 3.10pm, Cineworld

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to toolbar