Kathryn Bigelow couldn’t be clearer about the issue of torture in Zero Dark Thirty: “Torture is reprehensible” she told Stephen Colbert, and went to say that the enhanced interrogation shown in her film was one element in the attempt to track down Osama bin Laden, not, as some critics of the film have claimed, the single indispensable element. Directors don’t always have the best takes on their own films, but Bigelow’s explanation is the one that makes the most sense to me.
She also apologized for bailing on an earlier planned appearance on The Colbert Report, saying she was thrown by the prospect of the Senate investigating her film and sources. Actually, she said she was “spooked” -- considering the CIA connection, a particularly appropriate word.
It was a serious interview, with Colbert dropping his far-right persona, although his introduction to Bigelow offered his idea for a ZDT sequel: Weekend at Osama’s (might work if bin Laden hadn’t been dumped in the ocean).
Reading and watching all the arguments about the film, some reasoned and a lot of them rabid, would be a full time job. Here are a couple of the strongest: Bigelow's piece in the LA Times and Mark Bowden's lucid analysis from The Atlantic.
And here’s the extended (7 minute) version of Bigelow’s interview with Colbert.