Senators Pissed About Portrayal of Osama Bin Laden's Capture in 'Zero Dark Thirty'
When Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal set out to write a screenplay about the capture of Osama bin Laden, they famously had the cooperation of the CIA and other government officials. But now that the result of that effort has hit the big screen in the form of the movie "Zero Dark Thirty," several senators have come together to denounce the film's portrayal of the intelligence-gathering process.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain are leading the charge, with a letter written to the filmmakers decrying what they see as the film's suggestion that torturing prisoners is what led to bin Laden's takedown:
“Zero Dark Thirty is factually inaccurate, and we believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for Usama Bin Laden is not based on the facts, but rather part of the film’s fictional narrative.”
The filmmakers have responded by saying that they never meant for anyone to think that what they portray on the big screen is factually accurate:
"This was a 10-year intelligence operation brought to the screen in a two-and-a-half-hour film. 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."
This protestation on the part of the filmmakers comes despite the fact that the movie states at the beginning that it's based on "first-hand accounts of actual events." The senators are calling for Bigelow and Boal to add to the movie a note that these events are fictional, because otherwise, their letter states, "people who see ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ will believe that the events it portrays are facts."