News & Notes

Reel Corner: ZERO DAYS

by Flo Dwek zerodays

A documentary is due out on July 8 by Director Alex Gibney about the perils of cyber warfare, entitled ZERO DAYS. And if you are mystified about the title but intuitively sense that it must pertain to either the realm of science fiction or apocalyptic vision, you are not far from the mark.

The film sets out to explain the jaw-dropping capabilities and possibilities of cyber warfare, as seen through the lens of the Stuxnet virus, a potent piece of malware that set
a dangerously new precedent in offensive cyber attacks.

ZERO DAYS tells the story of a cyber worm, developed in tandem by computer geeks at the NSA and in Israel. It is an evil genius of a worm, designed to get inside, infect and destroy an array of spinning centrifuges in a bleak desert landscape that is home to Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant.

How and why this extraordinary worm was created, by whom it was sanctioned, how it was activated, and the global repercussions of that cyber deed lie at the heart of this eye-opening film.

The story, part thriller, part exposé, unfolds in bits and bytes—with telling disclosures and tight lipped denials from US and Israeli officials and the determined exploits of computer experts hot on Stuxnet’s elusive trail.

Outstanding graphics and special effects take us inside the mind-blowing numerology of computer codes that are mined and scrutinized for secret fragments and remnants of clarity.

Other on-screen visuals pull us into the heart of centrifuges spinning wildly out of control or slowing down to an unstable wobble.

If you like films about paranoia, covert ops, high intrigue at the highest levels, and a frenzied obsession with mayhem and secrecy—this one’s for you.

ZERO DAYS had its premiere screening at AFI Docs’ opening night on June 22 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. It opens in theaters nationwide July 8.

ZERO DAYS was edited by Hannah Vanderlan


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