It has been just over a month since “Zero Dark Thirty” first appeared in theaters, and two weeks since its nationwide release, and the debate regarding the film’s depiction of torture continues to rage on. This, of course, means that everyone wants to put their two cents in regarding the controversy, ranging from the director herself to a variety of politicians. Now, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has decided to share his thoughts regarding the film.
In a Facebook post titled “In Defense of Zero Dark Thirty,” Moore argues that the debate should not be about whether or not torture works, it should instead examine the question “Is torture wrong?” The filmmaker posits that "Zero Dark Thirty" is a film that will make you hate torture and be thankful that we have an administration that no longer endorses it. While not everyone is going to agree with Michael Moore’s opinion, nor will everyone agree with the way torture is depicted in the film, it’s still refreshing to see someone take part in the conversation in an honest and thoughtful manner. Here's an excerpt on what he had to say about how he sees the film as portraying torture:
"And then, as the movie shows, the CIA abruptly shifts from torture porn to – are you sitting down? – *detective work.* Like cops do to find killers…In the final third of 'Zero Dark Thirty,' the agents switch from torture to detective work – and guess what happens? We find bin Laden! Eight years of torture – no bin Laden. Two years of detective work – boom! Bin Laden! And that really should be the main takeaway from 'Zero Dark Thirty': That good detective work can bring fruitful results – and that torture is wrong."
In related news, director Kathryn Bigelow is the cover story of this week’s issue of Time magazine. Time did a rather extensive interview of the Academy Award winning filmmaker, talking to her about an array of issues, and once again, Bigelow says she stands by her movie and by the position it takes in what role torture played in the decade-long hunt for bin Laden.
"Where there’s clarity in the world, there’s clarity in the film. Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan—that’s clarity. And where there’s ambiguity in the world, there’s ambiguity in the film. If you look at the experts on the subject matter, whether it’s Mark Bowden [author of 'The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden'] or David Ignatius [of the Washington Post], they all say that some information came out of the detainee program. Maybe once the Senate report is declassified, we’ll have more information. Maybe advocating a little more transparency in government would be a healthy step."
Subscribers to Time magazine can read the entire profile of the filmmaker online. Meanwhile, for those of you who haven’t seen “Zero Dark Thirty” yet and want to get in on the debate, the film is still out in theaters everywhere.