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Zero Dark Thirty under fire from US senators for torture depiction

Zero Dark Thirty

Story by Jack Foley

THREE US senators have co-signed a letter accusing Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-tipped Zero Dark Thirty of being “inaccurate” in its depiction of torture.

The film, which chronicles the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, has widely been praised for its realistic depiction of the events that led to the killing of the man behind the 9/11 attacks on America.

But US senators Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and former Presidential candidate John McCain have now criticised the movie “perpetuating the myth that torture is effective”.

The letter, which was made public on Wednesday, goes on to suggest that US distributor Sony Pictures and its CEO, Michael Lynton, had an obligation to alter the movie.

All three senators are members of the Senate Intelligence committee.

The letter goes on to state: “The fundamental problem is that people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe that the events it portrays are facts,” the three senators wrote.

“The film therefore has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner.”

Far from helping lead to the discovery of Bin Laden’s whereabouts, as they believe the film suggests, the senators argue that the “use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America’s values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged”.

They therefore concluded that the makers of Zero Dark Thirty, including director Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, had “a social and moral obligation to get the facts right”.

In response, Bigelow said in a statement that her film depicts “a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods”.

Both she and Boal also insist that no single method was responsible in the successful manhunt for the terrorist leader.

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