Zero Days

Jun 24, 2016 | Posted by in 2016, EIFF
EIFF 2016

Alex Gibney’s Zero Days is a documentary focused on the claims that America and Israel jointly developed sophisticated malware in order to target Iranian centrifuges.

It’s a very complex world we live in full of different political agendas that involve a lot of really shady alliances designed to manipulate people and governments in certain ways. This documentary broadly focuses on one such example but makes it very clear that there are other such plans going on all the time.

Many different sources are interviewed throughout the documentary; some of them have occupied very high up positions in organisations like the CIA. There’s a lot of “no comment” answers going on because this information is so highly classified that there would be dire consequences if any of these sources revealed what they knew. Jokes are made about people turning up dead but I do wonder how possible that actually is based on the information presented here.

Zero DaysThe information given about this particular piece of malware -known to some as Stuxnet- is fascinating. The way it’s designed to remain undetected while messing with centrifuges is a terrifying prospect and the idea that this could be applied to other systems just as effectively shows what potential there is to bring down entire countries with barely more than a few keystrokes.

Stuxnet is the focus here but the wider issue of cyber warfare is allso explored. There are discussions about what the rules should be in this kind of warfare as it can be as devastating as dropping a nuke if the right targets are picked. It’s easy to dismiss it as simple computer hacking but it has become a very viable and devastating form of warfare. It takes place on a battlefield like any other and the world is just starting to come around to this idea.

The documentary makes its points well and seems to have the information backed up by relevant sources so it is able to present a realistic doom and gloom sort of viewpoint with actual facts to support it. At times it goes into a little too much detail about coding and such while assuming that the viewer understands the terminology involved. Sometimes I was a little lost by all of the technobabble but the main points do come through clearly.

I also found the stylised graphics to be really distracting at points. For the most part they made sense as they were uused to illustrate a point but other times they were used simply because they were designed to look cool without actually adding anything. It doesn’t happen often but is very distracting when it does.


A fascinating exploration of a particular instance of cyber warfare that had devastating effects. The sources are all relevant and well placed to provide accurate information so there are a good range of views. At times some of the graphics are distracting and there’s an overuse of technobabble in places but beyond that it’s very compelling viewing

  • 8/10
    Zero Days - 8/10


Kneel Before…

  • relevant sources
  • fascinating information
  • an informative exploration of cyber warfare

Rise Against…

  • too much technobabble
  • distracting graphics
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