Kathryn Bigelow responds to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ critics again, does not endorse torture

By Daniel S Levine,

Now that the entire country has had a chance to see Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow was asked by the Los Angeles Times to write an essay to respond to the film’s critics, who say that it endorses torture and that it was instrumental in finding Osama Bin Laden. Bigelow continues to stand by the film, saying that she does not endorse torture, even though it is depicted in the film.

“The Times asked me to elaborate on recent statements I've made in response to these issues,” Bigelow writes. “I'm not sure I have anything new to add, but I can try to be concise and clear.”

Bigelow calls herself a “lifelong pacifist” who supports “all protests against the use of torture, and, quite simply, inhumane treatment of any kind.”

“But I do wonder 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,” she writes.

She stresses that depiction is not endorsement. “If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no filmmaker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time.”

Zero Dark Thirty has been criticized by politicians and actors alike. Some suggest that has hurt its chances at the Oscars. The film is up for five awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Jessica Chastain). Bigelow was not nominated for Best Director, a move that shocked analysts.

Still, the film grossed $24 million at the box office this weekend.

Bigelow's previous film, The Hurt Locker, centered on the war in Iraq and won Best Picture in 2010.

image: Sony



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