The Above is a short film by director Kirsten Johnson, showing a US military surveillance balloon floating above the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. Its capacities are both highly classified and deeply mysterious.
Johnson's film is charged with a disturbing ominosity by the juxtaposition of scenes with Afghan citizens going about their daily lives the best they can on their war-ravaged city, with a foreign object as the background for their ordinary routine.
My mind, polluted with Sci-Fi scenes from TV and Cinema, immediately reminisced the 80's series V, when the first alien mothership is first shown on a Middle Eastern desert. Although perhaps a better comparison would be District 9, since in that movie Neill Blomkamp shows how the citizens of Johannesburg eventually grow used to the sight of the alien artifact imposed into their existence; the same way Londoners grew used with a similar sight to the modern US government surveillance blimp over Kabul --the barrage balloons above their own city during WWII (which BTW were the inspiration for Arthur Clarke's seminal novel Childhood's End).
And if you think the UFO/Sci-Fi comparisons are misplaced, I beg to differ; just consider how the Kabul blimp is a *direct* descendant of the infamous Project Mogul, intended to detect atomic explosions on Soviet soil and proposed as the explanation for the Roswell incident of 1947 by the Air Force.
And, just as the UFO field is filled with all sorts of disinformation minefields and psychological warfare, The Above shows how the main goal of the Kabul blimp is as a crowd-control tool: By reminding the population --both common citizens as well as the Taliban insurgents-- that wherever they are, wherever they go, the Eye in the Sky will always be there.
So memo to Google: If you want your Project Loon to work, you might want to make your balloons a little less conspicuous...