Filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal have defended the depiction of torture in their new movie Zero Dark Thirty following heavy criticism from several US politicians.
The movie, based on the real life hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, has come under fire from former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, as well as two Democratic Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin.
The pair condemned the moviemakers for suggesting information leading to bin Laden's capture was obtained using torture and they wrote an open letter to Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton, stating, "We understand that the film is fiction, but... there has been significant media coverage of the CIA's cooperation with the screenwriters... We are fans of many of your movies... but the fundamental problem is that people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe that the events it portrays are facts...
"With the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right."
However, Oscar-winning director Bigelow has fiercely defended her movie, telling Thewrap.com, "The point was to immerse the audience in this landscape, not to pretend to debate policy. Was it difficult to shoot? Yes. Do I wish (torture) was not part of that history? Yes, but it was."
Screenwriter Boal adds, "The movie has been, and probably will continue to be, put in political boxes. Before we even wrote it, it was (branded) an (Barack) Obama campaign commercial, which was preposterous. And now it's pro-torture, which is preposterous... Everything we did has been misinterpreted, and continues to be...
"I'm not saying the film is a documentary of everything that happened, but it's being misread... Look at it as a movie and not a potential launching pad for a political statement."