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Read: Kathryn Bigelow's Essay Addressing Depiction of Torture in 'Zero Dark Thirty'

by Beth Hanna
January 16, 2013 11:56 AM
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Kathryn Bigelow

Director Kathryn Bigelow has published an essay in the L.A. Times addressing the controversy surrounding her Oscar-nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty" and its depiction of torture. "I do wonder if some 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," she writes. Highlights below.

The full essay can be read here.

On freedom of artistic expression, and her lifelong pacifism:

I support every American's 1st Amendment right to create works of art and speak their conscience without government interference or harassment. As a lifelong pacifist, I support all protests against the use of torture, and, quite simply, inhumane treatment of any kind.

On the confusion between depiction and endorsement:

For confusing depiction with endorsement is the first step toward chilling any American artist's ability and right to shine a light on dark deeds, especially when those deeds are cloaked in layers of secrecy and government obfuscation.

On the role of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden:

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. War, obviously, isn't pretty, and we were not interested in portraying this military action as free of moral consequences.


  • tin2 | January 18, 2013 8:37 AMReply

    Bigelow just depicted what really happened. So what do u want? A pretentious movie?!?

  • tin2 | January 18, 2013 8:36 AMReply

    Bigelow just depicted what really happened. So what do u want? A pretentious movie?!?

  • pol | January 16, 2013 11:51 PMReply

    Bigelow the Tool --

  • Qwertz | January 16, 2013 7:44 PMReply

    Honestly though, if she didnt want to link torture to the capture of bin laden she shouldn't have written the scene where they finally get information from amar or the scene where maya was able to extract an idea from countless torture tapes. At the end of the day, those two scenes are what led to the capture of zero dark thirty's bin laden more than anything else depicted in the film and nothing she says in this essay changes that.

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