Zero Dark Thirty review
Tue, 15 Jan 2013 3:27p.m.
By Laura Frykberg
From the moment the lights dimmed and Zero Dark Thirty began playing on the cinema screen, my eyes were glued to it.
Its beginning is bold: a black screen with the sound of the screaming victims of the terror attacks of 9/11, and that boldness continued right through to the end. At no point did any of the usual distractions, like checking my cell phone, ever cross my mind.
Director Kathryn Bigelow's latest is incredibly long in length, but it was so well done it could have been longer and I wouldn't have noticed.
It follows a CIA operative's decade-long pursuit of Osama Bin Laden after 9/11. That CIA operative is Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, who has just won a Golden Globe for the role, and rightfully so. Chastain plays a determined young woman in a man's world realistically and convincingly.
In an interview with Time magazine Chastain revealed making the film about the real life female CIA agent who led the operation was her way of thanking the agent for her work, which until now has remained top secret. I'm sure the woman Maya is based on will be pleased by her depiction.
The torture scenes are hard to watch, but I expected the film to depict interrogation much more brutally than it did. It's enough to make you wince once in awhile but not enough to make you leave the cinema.
The use of torture in the film has sparked protest by Amnesty International for endorsing America's torture techniques, and the film's also being investigated by US lawmakers as to whether the CIA leaked classified information to Bigelow. But my advice is leave your political views at the door for this one, and enjoy it for what it is, essentially one big enthralling political thriller.
Four and a half stars.
Zero Dark Thirty
:: Director:Kathryn Bigelow
:: Starring: Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Duplass, Jason Clarke
:: Running Time: 157 mins
:: Rating: M - Violence & offensive language
:: Release Date: January 31, 2013
:: Trailer: Watch here
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15/01/2013 8:35:56 p.m.
Kathryn Bigelow said: “We depicted a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods that were used in the name of finding bin Laden. The film shows that no single method was necessarily responsible for solving the manhunt, nor can any single scene taken in isolation fairly capture the totality of efforts the film dramatizes.”
So torture, what she calls an “intelligence method,” wasn’t solely responsible for bin Laden’s capture,it was partially responsible. Jessica Chastain admitted that there was a link made in the film to the needed information and the torture to get it, but went on that this was a “murky, gray area - “it’s complicated.” Lets make it simple then!!! Torture is, literally and in essence, a crime against humanity. Like rape, it is a systematic attempt to violently degrade people and rob them of their very humanity. Any government which not only tolerates such things but which, from its highest offices, justifies and insists on them as ‘instruments of policy’… once exposed,any government which does not prosecute the perpetrators but instead provides them in advance with immunity…reveals itself as a system that requires such crimes, and such criminals, for its functioning. Any people that does not resist such crimes, and demand prosecution of the torturers and, even more so, those who formulated the policy at the highest levels, reveals themselves to be complicit in those crimes. And in passively allowing the humanity of others to be degraded and attacked, they lose their own.” There is an implicit criticism in the film that Obama ended the detainee and torture program, This is a lie Gitmo is still going strong as is a far worse place - Bagram where NZ troops have regularly delivered "fresh meat" for the grist.
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