Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Kathryn Bigelow Issues Statement On Torture In 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Talks Topic With David Letterman, Peter Travers & Much More

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist January 17, 2013 at 11:03AM

Now that “Zero Dark Thirty” has gone into wide release, moviegoers finally have the opportunity to understand the film’s awards season buzz, the subsequent debates stemming from its measured depiction of U.S.-led torture, and lastly, just how egregiously wrong-headed those arguments actually are. Still, Kathryn Bigelow kept a straight face up until Oscar nominations were announced, but now she’s taken to the press circuit to make her opinions on the issue as overt as they’ve ever been.
2
Zero Dark Thirty Kathryn Bigelow

Now that “Zero Dark Thirty” has gone into wide release, moviegoers finally have the opportunity to understand the film’s awards season buzz, the subsequent debates stemming from its measured depiction of U.S.-led torture, and lastly, just how egregiously wrong-headed those arguments actually are. Still, Kathryn Bigelow kept a straight face up until Oscar nominations were announced, but now she’s taken to the press circuit to make her opinions on the issue as overt as they’ve ever been.

While screenwriter Mark Boal -- thus far the main press spokesperson for the “Zero Dark Thirty” creative team -- has handled the brunt of the film’s criticism and political attacks, Bigelow has now broken her relative silence, and come forth with her views on perhaps the most pervasive and forceful of the controversies: the issue of the drama’s torture scenes within CIA black sites. Lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have labeled the film “"grossly inaccurate and misleading" from this aspect, but Bigelow herself -- in a recent, must-read statement to the LA Times -- wondered “if some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these U.S. policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen."

“Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement,” Bigelow explained at her op-ed’s beginning, and beyond tackling an artist’s responsibility to the material portrayed, she also commented on the real-life timeline from which she and Boal constructed their film. “Experts disagree sharply on the facts and particulars of the intelligence hunt, and doubtlessly that debate will continue,” she said. “As for what I personally believe, which has been the subject of inquiries, accusations and speculation, I think Osama bin Laden was found due to ingenious detective work. Torture was, however, as we all know, employed in the early years of the hunt. That doesn't mean it was the key to finding Bin Laden. It means it is a part of the story we couldn't ignore."

That insistence stays consistent throughout all of the director’s appearances, whether talking with David Letterman or a peculiarly exuberant Peter Travers, and in a generous world, her comments would initiate a decline in the contradictory backlash. That prospect seems none too likely however, so check out Bigelow’s interviews below while the storm blows over, as well as a new CIA featurette, clip and Oscar TV spot for the film.

This article is related to: Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates