Our sister blog The Playlist has an interview from the Berlinale with director Ken Loach, who was premiering his new documentary, “The Spirit of 45,” at the festival. Amidst other comments about socialism and fiction versus non-fiction filmmaking, the conversation came around to the nature of directorial bias. When asked about whether he was worried of being accused of bias with his film, he turned the question back around and asked interviewer Jessica Kiang if she believed “‘Zero Dark Thirty’… or all these other pro-CIA films where the white American is the hero” were biased. And then he answered his own question:
“Of course they are, they’re massively biased, but the bias is more subtle. But the critics are so stupid they don’t see it and that stuns me. I mean, why would anybody want to make a film about the hunting down and killing of somebody? The purpose is to keep the devil alive, to keep the devil of Bin Laden alive — this one’s still got some mileage.“
Loach would not be the first (or second, or twentieth) person to accuse “Zero Dark Thirty” of pro-American or pro-CIA bias, or to accuse critics of being too dopey to see said bias. Of course, the CIA itself didn’t think “Zero Dark Thirty” was a pro-CIA movie (acting agency director Michael Morell wrote a letter to all CIA employees outlining the film’s “false” impressions). And I didn’t find the film to be a particularly positive portrait of America or its government and intelligence agencies. But maybe that letter is a CIA black op or something. Or, y’know, I’m stupid.