Why I Didn't Ignore Torture in Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow addresses controversy surrounding her film

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 16, 2013 7:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Kathryn Bigelow addresses the brouhaha surrounding her film Zero Dark Thirty in the Los Angeles Times, and wonders whether all the ire over torture scenes is misdirected. Wouldn't it make more sense to be angry "at those who instituted and ordered these US policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen"? After all, Bigelow is against torture, and "depiction is not endorsement." If you confuse the two, you run the risk of taking away our "right to shine a light on dark deeds."

Bigelow is proud of her decision not to gloss over the realities of the Osama bin Laden raid. The bottom line is that torture played a role in the government's search for the terrorist, at least in the early days. "It does seem illogical to me to make a case against torture by ignoring or denying the role it played in US counterterrorism policy and practices," Bigelow writes. "War, obviously, isn't pretty, and we were not interested in portraying this military action as free of moral consequences." But at the same time, we should remember and appreciate the bravery of those who eventually took down bin Laden. Click for Bigelow's full column.

This undated publicity film image provided by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. shows elite Navy SEALs raiding Osama Bin Laden's compound in the dark night in Zero Dark Thirty.
This undated publicity film image provided by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. shows elite Navy SEALs raiding Osama Bin Laden's compound in the dark night in "Zero Dark Thirty."   (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Jonathan Olley, File)
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