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Watch: Kathryn Bigelow Defends 'Zero Dark Thirty' Torture Scenes On 'The Colbert Report' Plus Featurette On The Compound

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by Charlie Schmidlin
January 24, 2013 12:40 PM
5 Comments
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If the prolonged controversy surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's depiction of torture in “Zero Dark Thirty” has for most neared an apex of tolerance, it's still staggering to think about the stress levels likely coursing through the director as she debates it. It must have been a welcome interlude then when during her long press tour she recently sat down for an entertaining and insightful chat with Stephen Colbert to discuss the film's heated debate.

During her first appearance on "The Colbert Report" since “The Hurt Locker” -- an instance which Steven described as a “Colbert bump” to Oscar gold -- Bigelow recounted the whirlwind reaction to “Zero Dark Thirty,” its resultant scrutiny by U.S. senators and political factions, and also her approach toward her “first draft of history.”

"We wanted to tell the story respectfully and honestly, and since it's part of the history, we had to show a few sequences of enhanced interrogation," she said. "But again, there's many techniques that led to [bin Laden's] compound in Abbottabad.” Colbert also asked Bigelow if she's ready to possibly testifying in front of Congress for the film's depiction of events, to which she expressed, “No one is ever ready,” but that she “stands by the film” that resulted from her and screenwriter Mark Boal's intensive research.

The interview is another expert example of when Colbert matches the interviewee in terms of respect for their discussion, and while those looking for laugh-out-loud humor may not find their requisite dose, the brief segment is well worth your time nonetheless. Take a look below, along with a featurette showing how the filmmakers brought bin Laden's compound to life in the film.

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5 Comments

  • Bob Roberts | February 24, 2013 5:48 PMReply

    Now everyone want's to get very technical about the "Based on..." title card. If you were being honest you know that many people are going to take this account factual or at least close to it. It's silly to assume that everyone is going to make that distinction. You are obviously a defender of the movie and very sensitive to criticism (K fine) which brings you to harp on minute details. I'm talking about general impressions by many people who will see the movie. That title card (whether it says "based on true events" or "based on first hand accounts") gives an impression of truth.

  • Bob Roberts | February 24, 2013 5:48 PMReply

    Now everyone want's to get very technical about the "Based on..." title card. If you were being honest you know that many people are going to take this account factual or at least close to it. It's silly to assume that everyone is going to make that distinction. You are obviously a defender of the movie and very sensitive to criticism (K fine) which brings you to harp on minute details. I'm talking about general impressions by many people who will see the movie. That title card (whether it says "based on true events" or "based on first hand accounts") gives an impression of truth.

  • Bob Roberts | February 24, 2013 5:48 PMReply

    Now everyone want's to get very technical about the "Based on..." title card. If you were being honest you know that many people are going to take this account factual or at least close to it. It's silly to assume that everyone is going to make that distinction. You are obviously a defender of the movie and very sensitive to criticism (K fine) which brings you to harp on minute details. I'm talking about general impressions by many people who will see the movie. That title card (whether it says "based on true events" or "based on first hand accounts") gives an impression of truth.

  • Jake Meddler | January 30, 2013 4:54 PMReply

    In response to Bob Roberts ill-conceived comment I would like to ask him to please thoroughly study the matter before he hit that shiny blue submit button below his comment. I am not going to comment whether I agree or disagree with Kathryn Bigelow nor with her depiction of torture. I would simply like to correct the statement about "based on true events" being placed in the front of the movie. The movie does not claim to be based on true events, it states "Based on first-hand accounts." This is entirely different that true events. Never once does the film attempt to confirm the veracity of it's content. It simply states that it is based on the accounts given by those who were directly involved. Whether those people told the truth or not is not the point not the claim nor is the the purpose of the film.

  • Bob Roberts | January 25, 2013 6:42 PMReply

    Conveniently you don't put in the part of the interview where Colbert clearly states that Maya watching those videos shows he find info leading to UBL. Then he asks her "do you believe that that is true or were you duped?" She skates around it by claiming innocent naivite. Then don't put "based on true events" in front of your movie!

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