And you thought the ruckus around “Django Unchained” was bad. With Kathryn Bigelow‘s “Zero Dark Thirty” slated to go into wide release in just over a week, it appears the controversy over its presentation of “enhanced interrogation” (ie. torture) as one of the many methods used in shaking out information that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, is far from over. Both Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have stressed in official statements that, “The film shows that no single method was necessarily responsible for solving the manhunt, nor can any single scene taken in isolation fairly capture the totality of efforts the film dramatizes.” But since politics are involved, that will not suffice.
The Senate Intelligence Committee already went out of their way last month to declare that the film was “inaccurate” in its depiction of torture as one of the tactics used by officials to gather information. Moreover, they insisted “the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.” Right. Anyway, they are stepping things up further. Investigators will now look into whether or not the CIA provided “inappropriate” access to files for Bigelow and Boal, and will try and find out if the spy organization themselves used the film as an opportunity to pimp torture as an effective technique.
We won’t get into the variety of political power plays at work here, but we will just say that maybe everyone should stop and talk to United States Secretary Of Defense Leon Panetta who already admitted to Brian Williams in the spring of 2011 that “enhanced interrogation” was one of the methods that led to finding Osama Bin Laden (watch below). But maybe that would be too easy.
No matter where you stand on the issue, this is more free promo for the movie, and these kind of headlines will only spur audiences to see for themselves what has folks in Washington all in a huff. “Zero Dark Thirty” opens across the country on January 11th. [Reuters]