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'Zero Dark Thirty' is the most vile and immoral war film I've seen in years

“Revenge of the agonized killers” would have been a more appropriate title. 

Sometime in the late 1960s, Israeli cinema stopped producing heroic war stories – the kind of action or drama movies where the protagonist serves his country, noble against a powerful and cruel enemy. The quantity of other such works of fiction – in literature, for example – dropped as well. Which, when you think about it, is kind of weird for a country that has a war every few years and needs to reinforce its own ethos. Instead, Israeli popular culture started producing a different genre – that of the confessions. Here, the protagonists or story-tellers were usually trying to come to terms with the terrible things they were forced to do to – by their COs, by politicians or by circumstances, but never of their own choice. The genre even earned a name: “shooting and crying. “ It all seemed brave – but it wasn’t, since our heroes never assumed responsibility for their actions. The real perpetrators were others: generals, right-wing radicals, fools – and sometimes it was simply the Arabs’ fault. Sure enough, all those groups didn’t make movies. It was the lefty cultural elites that needed absolution, or at least explanation for the things they did (with much enthusiasm) – usually while continuing to do them. Today I would rather have a right wing that is proud of the occupation than an agonized lefty. You don’t want to do something, don’t do it. In the left-wing protests in recent years you can often hear chants of, “don’t shoot, don’t cry – get out of the territories now,” urging people to take responsibility for their actions.

Now I must say this – in decades of watching Israeli and international war cinema, I don’t remember a film as immoral, vile and self-righteous as Zero Dark Thirty. This narcissistic movie, with all its aesthetic portraits of torture and assassinations, not only enjoys and fetishizes the violence it depicts but also justifies and rationalizes it. It is not – as some more naïve viewers said – a “complicated” or “controversial” way of promoting “a debate” on torture, but the other way around. Torture and assassinations are presented as effective though unpleasant ways of preforming heroic acts. The film completely ignores collateral damage, the innocents who are killed and abused and the inherent abuse of power (and think in that context not just about the acts carried out by the U.S, but also by its allies, in Pakistan for example), which are part of the argument for conducting warfare within a different normative and legal framework. But the problem goes even deeper. Zero Dark Thirty is so self-righteous that it makes the blunt orientalism of The Hurt Locker actually look good. There, the director seemed to have understood that some people like “the action” – but we never saw that kind of emotion in Zero Dark Thirty. After all, no American would like torture or killings. Bigelow’s portrait people at war runs contrary to anything we know about human nature and violence everywhere and at all times. If the director would have shown the sadism and corruption that comes when you cross certain boundaries, then some viewers would have felt uncomfortable, and gone home really thinking or talking about what they saw. But I don’t think the film would have been such a success in such a case. Holywood is giving Kathryn Bigelow prizes because she makes Americans feel good about themselves and the wars they wage.

I am not judging those wars themselves here or even the practices of torture or extra-judicial killings, but rather the way they are told and discussed. When you take ZDT and The Hurt Locker together, you understand that Bigelow actually thinks that in the more than 11 years of wars in three countries, the sole and only victims were Americans. This is the worst kind of propaganda, one which is directed at the bleeding hearts and liberals who seem to enjoy their action flicks with a sauce of “moral dilemmas” and remorse. Be sure – the old style of war films was way more honest and moral because it praised the hero’s actions and therefore assumed at least certain responsibility for them. Naturally, the Arabs are just as dead in both genres.

UPDATE: I watched The Gatekeepers today, and I will post about it later this week.

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    1. “Today I would rather have a right winger that is proud of the occupation than an agonized lefty.”

      Amen to that.

      Reply to Comment
    2. JKNoReally

      A totally deranged review of this movie. The torture scenes are gut-wrenching, and the raid has innocents getting shot to death at close range – there’s plenty of collateral damage. Probably the driest, least violence-glorifying “war on terror” movie out there. Yes, the movie implies that torture yielded the intelligence that led to Osama Bin Laden – this is either true or it isn’t. If it is – you have nothing to complain about – reality is reality. If it isn’t – then say the movie was unrealistic – but it doesn’t make sense to be mad that someone is pointing out that torture achieved something if it did, in fact, achieve something. I don’t think any plebe is in a position to say whether the movie gets it right or not – but its not a sensationalized version of anything.

      Reply to Comment
      • Having watched a Charlie Rose devoted to this movie, it seems that torture coorberated information leading to Bin Laden’s location but did not reveal it in first instance; that is, someone tortured was asked to confirm something. It may or may not be the case that the raid would have proceeded absent this; counterfactuals exist in counterfactual worlds.

        It is, however, known that “significant intelligence” leading to the charge that Iraq had WMD was derived through torture, by Egypt, when a “high value” individual was deposited by the US into Egyptian care. It is now known that this individual just made things up to stop the pain. 2000+ US soldiers thereafter died, plus certainly over 100,000 Iraqis.

        From what I have heard, relationship building is far superior to torture, overall, where one slowly establishes relationships with the jailed. In fact, I believe that the crucial information of Bin Laden’s location was REVEALED this way.

        However, it would be absurd to claim that torture would never yeild information saving lives. There is a case of a man in the UK being threatened with torture to reveal where he had buried alive someone. The threat was enough for him to reveal the location, saving the buried; the police officer threatening torture was removed from his position later.

        Noam risks letting revulsion blind him to probabilities. I think, however, that his statement that torture changes the operating culture of enforcement correct. Indeed, the fired American commanding general in Afghanistan holds that torture should be barred precisely because of what it does to command and control and the individuals involved, degrading inference, self questioning, and trust.

        Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          That begs the question whether threatening him with a murder charge or something a bit more in line with judicial process would have done the job.

          Reply to Comment
          • The investigating officer tried murder charge first, with no effect. There were only hours left in the burial case. No torture was applied, the officer fired. Interestingly, the American general basically held the same view. He said he could not unilaterally say he would never torture, as events happen upon us. But he said that if he did and he turned out to be “right” in outcome, he should still be relieved of his command.

            Anyone who has read my comments on this site knows where I stand. But the world is hard. Acknowledge this. If you do not, your failure to do so will be used by your enemies.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            The world is hard? Great, so you agree torture is necessary. That’s the limit of intellectual engagement you’ll get trying to half-assedly concede the enemies’ pov.

            Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >It is, however, known that “significant intelligence” leading to the charge that Iraq had WMD was derived through torture

          The fact that WMD’s were never found does not prove that they weren’t there at first place. Why would Iraq not have something which Syria has?

          >It is now known that this individual just made things up to stop the pain.

          There is no proof of that.

          >The threat was enough for him to reveal the location, saving the buried; the police officer threatening torture was removed from his position later.

          Maybe, it is the current law, which is not effective enough?

          >Indeed, the fired American commanding general in Afghanistan holds that torture should be barred …

          General is right, generally speaking, however until some kind of mind probe is invented, the only realistic way to extract potentially life-saving information urgently is to apply pain, or fear of pain to weaker individuals.

          However is torture is completely barred and is punishable disregarding it’s outcome, it actually might – and is – happening that villains are able to persecute their victims simply because police is not able to collect enough evidence – a task much more difficult that it might seem.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Something just occurred to me: Why don’t the proponents of torture ever get into Vietnam and whether the NVA got reliable information torturing GIs? Maybe because no one likes the shoe-on-the-other-foot test?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Probably you are not aware, but IDF soldiers are trained not to try and withstand torture.

            Once fallen POW – answer all questions.

            Pity that Arabs are not following the same practice.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Actually, it looks like Palestinian kids got the same training:

            “‘Omar Hamamrehcontends that he admitted to the charge because he had been pressured during the police interrogation: :

            During my whole interrogation, the interrogator did not let me go to the bathroom, even though I really had to go. They didn’t bring me food, or even water. I was really tired from the interrogation and from being beaten. So I preferred to tell the interrogator that I did throw stones in 2007. Then he ordered me to sign my confession. I signed a paper that was written in Hebrew. I didn’t know what it said. At the time, I just wanted to put an end to the interrogation and the beatings, especially since it was the first time I’d been arrested.”


            Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        Torture was NOT key to finding Bin Laden; several security experts (with professional experience) have attested to this. As well, several politicians, including John McCain (who was himself a victim of torture during the Vietnam War) have attacked the film as disingenuous in this regard.
        Don’t reply with some jackassed request for “sources.” You’re a big boy, you can do the research yourself.

        Reply to Comment
        • My stand against torture is clear. But holyer than thou anger cannot erase alternative possibilities. Nothing is gained by asserting the world would never have a good outcome after a torture event as applied. Take a position even though some facts may be against it. As the American (forced to resign, for other reasons) general said, he was against torture for its cummulative effect, on military culture as well as on those abused without cause.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Leen

      Hollywood isn’t very good at making movies that are not ‘America, yeah!’. The torture scene had one intention, ‘torture is effective’. Kathryn bigelow completely disregards the consequences and the ethical question of torture, she deals with the subject very poorly (and her statement about the criticism of torture is even worse). Firstly she completely disregarda that torture yields false testemonies than not ad more innocent people have been tortured. Many veterans and CIA
      officials criticised her portrayal of the hunt for bin laden. I think the Hollywood movie that dealt with the topic of torture effectively and correctly was rendition.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        I disagree. The intention of the torture scenes were to disgust the audience.

        The ethical question of torture only arises because it can be effective. If it wasn’t effective it would have disappeared as a tactic a very long time ago.

        Reply to Comment
        • Leen

          When I said that the intention was to show how torture was effective, I was referring to Bigelow’s statement about torture. (She said herself that torture is effective).

          As for the question whether torture is effective or not. That is a debate for another time, and to be honest I would rather see charts/statistics on when it is correct or produce false testimonies. The torture that was conducted in Abu Ghraib (with the blessing of the US security personnels in Washington and who let the soldiers take the fall) proved to be ineffective and produced more false testimonies than not (in fact it became uncontrollable because people were ratting on their neighbours/enemies/acquaintances so they can be released).

          In fact, there have been more truthful testimonies produced through acts of kindness by the CIA/MI5 (one suspect was tortured in Guantanomo Bay, in the end he was admitted to hospital and one CIA officer saw him shivering and offered him his jacket. He broke down and told him what he wanted to know).

          As for the consequences of torture, it often results in mental disabilities/illnesses which includes Multiple Personality disorder and schizophrenia, which means the information is unreliable.

          There are a lot of problems with torture, and so far I haven’t seen any viable statistics of when torture works and if it does, how often does it work (through what procedures, etc).

          Plus there are the unintended consequences of torture. Back in the 70s/80s when Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria were cracking down on the Islamists, with the CIA’s blessing, many of the Islamists were tortured through brutal ways (it makes waterboarding look tame, but through bestiality, physical maiming, rape and the like) which made the vulnerable for Al-Qaeda recruits (it is rumoured that’s where the founders of Al-Qaeda came from, they were tortured, and thus wanted to extract revenge on Arab governments/US/non-Islamists, there’s a gret documentary about thsi by Lawrence Wright, My trip with Al-qaeda).

          Again, I stand by what I said. Bigelow does an extremly poor job of tackling the issues and dilemma of torture. In addition, CIA analysts and veterans have criticized Bigelow’s portrayal that torture led to the capture of Osama Bin Laden as it is simply not true.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Acts of kindness are often used as part of a regime of interrogation that includes torture. The CIA officer that gave the blanket to the prisoner arrived just in time to capitalize on the mental state created by the torture.

            Torture can produce false data. It can also produce accurate data. In an individual case it is impossible to know which one it is. On the scale of an intelligence agency with other independent information gathering capacities and a decent number of prisoners it is possible to confirm accurate data and disprove false data. Basically, it isn’t pretty, but it ‘works’ where ‘works’ means it produces potentially useful data.

            It definitely physically and mentally damages the victim. It can corrupt the institution that carries it out if it turns into some kind of torture industry instead of continuing to be applied in well-defined and relatively isolated cases. The ethical question is whether it is legitimate to do so within the context of the information that the prisoner might be hiding. Those that argue that it is never ethical will claim that torture is ineffective. I don’t think it is possible to go by publicly available information on the subject of torture in general and in the case of Bin Laden in particular. Those that know aren’t talking and those that are talking can’t know. If someone wants to do the research they would have to do a study on the records of an intelligence agency whose books are publicly open, that is one that is no longer in business.

            I personally have a hard time imagining an intelligence service that given the certain knowledge that a prisoner has information that would lead to the deaths of tens of innocent civilians would not resort to torture of one form or another.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            I am aware of the effectiveness of torture, however once again, I cannot make my opinion of torture unless it yields accurate information most of the time. For now I cannot find any statistics to include the information that I want (save for the Abu Ghraib data, where most of the prisoners who were tortured yielded false testimonies). That to me is ineffective, because I’m sorry I can’t get my head round torturing 1000 innocent civilians just so one of them could be an enemy who ‘might’ tell you that yes, there ‘might’ be a bomb attack at the security base that could kill about 10-20 people. That to me is goes ineffecient and ineffective because I’m sorry logic dictates 1000 civilians tortured (and a lot die under torture, let’s presume that 10% died, that would be around 100 innocent civilians) is not worth 10 people. You might disagree with me and that’s completely fine, but I cannot get my head around it.

            As for the question of statistics, it is possible to acquire that type of information from CIA either though public persecution (as it was the case with Abu Ghraib) or after the documents are considered historic (usually 40-50 years) or a particular ‘era’ has ended (such as the case of Cold War where much of the documents was declassified). Torture wasn’t used as much as it is today, it was used under extreme circumstances where the suspect is considered to hold valuable information that could save lives. However, we are no longer in that type of situation, we are in a situation where torture is used left right or center, and even when the CIA doesn’t feel like doing it, it relegates the most brutal types of torture to the Saudi Arabians, Egyptians and Moroccans(they used to relegate it to the Egyptians under Mubarak but not anymore).

            As for the scenario you described, rarely does a ticking bomb scenario occur, if ever it has occurred. However, like I mentioned before, torture in the past has been in extreme cases as you have described, but after 9/11, it has gone rampant.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Intelligence agencies have little interest in torturing civilians, though our definitions of who is a civilian will probably vary. I don’t consider Khalid Sheikh Muhammed to be a civilian. You might. Also, very few people actually die from torture carried out by the US in Guantanamo for example. That I believe is public information. So, I don’t know where your numbers come from.

            If the question is about the efficacy of torture in general you can look at non-US data. Former Eastern bloc data might be available.

            The ticking bomb scenario likely has occured though it isn’t very common. For purposes of an ethical analysis of torture it is however pertinent and dismissing it as rare doesn’t make it go away. What should an intelligence agency in a clear ticking bomb scenario forms the baseline.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            That’s not necessarily true. One high profile case of a civilian being tortured was Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin. He was kidnapped, tortured and once the CIA realized that he was not a suspect, they released him on a desolate road in Albania. He won his case that he was wrongfully tortured with The European Court of Human Rights. Till now the CIA refuses to acknowledge their mistakes.
            I am not talking about KSM, I am talking about regular citizens who are abducted and tortured because of mistaken identity.
            Maher Arar was also a high profile case (he has dual canadian and syrian citizenship but was abducted by the CIA to Syria where he was tortured and the Syrian forces concluded that he was NOT a suspect). Again, we are talking about regular civilians where the CIA becomes suspicious for simply having a chemical engineering degree or his last name is El-Masri. (after googling Maher Arar, I found out that he was one of the four civilians who were detained after a false testimony was extracted through torture by a ‘suspect’. Turns out the suspect does not know any of the 5 people who were abducted and tortured).

            Not necessarily true. I will use Abu Ghraib as an example because it is the most high profile case and there is much information about it. Findings have shown that hundreds have people died as a result of torture, either after or during torture. There is vast sources about Abu Ghraib, NYtimes/New Yorker both list that several thousand detainees were in fact civilians. If you also look at the testimonies, reports from US court of justice, the military, amnesty and so on you would find a LOT of cases of civilians who were tortured. I find it particularly interesting the testimonies of the torturers themselves of how many people they have tortured/abused.

            That to me, I am sorry is grossly unethical, immoral and illegal. Torture doesn’t just occure with known terrorists. As of the case of Abu Ghraib, torture was evidently practiced on civilians a lot more than it has on suspected terrorists (it’s interesting because of the testemonies, many of the people who conducted the torture have said they have not reproduce a single true testimony of a terrorist attack).

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            I said that intelligence agencies are not interested in torturing civilians. You have confirmed this by pointing out that once they determine that a prisoner is not a terrorist they are released. Sometimes the wrong person will get tortured and while a tragedy we still come back to the question of whether overall the information attained from terrorists being tortured justifies the approach.

            There was one death publicly reported in Abu Ghraib during torture. I still don’t know where you get your hundreds from. When a terrorist gets arrested they immediately turn into an ‘innocent civilian’ as far as their defenders are concerned.

            You are kind of dancing around the question. Is it ethical for an intelligence agency to torture a foreign prisoner who is known to be a terrorist in order to retrieve information that would save the lives of the civilians of your own country? Since you seem to accept that KSM was a terrorist, let’s presume that the prisoner in question is KSM. This is the baseline. At that point one can delve into the ethics of occasionally torturing a foreign civilian in error within the context of a system designed to protect the citizens of your own country.

            Reply to Comment
          • aminah

            Bravo! But don’t go soft on torturers…it’s NEVER excusable. Courage…seen so seldom lately, I simply HAD to comment. Thank you.

            Reply to Comment
        • Effectiveness is as applied, not average result. The case of the man tortured in Egypt yeilding WMD information for Iraq is a counter case of huge impact. Torture cannot be decided by the act but by the long term process. In the latter, it is quite wanting.

          US criminal law has obviously let factually guilty people off. But without the protections of that law, abuses in the other direct would increase–the innocent even executed.

          Israel’s dilemma in the Bank is that it has written off innocence to produce “correct” outcomes always. This can never be, in any human system of determination. The IDF has decided to let the innocent fall to fall the guilty. That is what total war is. But Israel is not at total war. Thus, +972.

          Reply to Comment
          • Paul j

            Effectiveness is as applied, not average result.??????????????

            But without the protections of that law, abuses in the other direct would increase??????????

            The IDF has decided to let the innocent fall to fall the guilty. ??????

            i dont understand any of your points

            Reply to Comment
    4. Kolumn9

      I didn’t like the movie. At the same time the things that were shown in the movie did take place (torture included) and were carried out by people that resemble the characters in that movie at least according to my exposure. It is a dirty cruel world out there and I think that is really where your major issue with the film lies. The movie doesn’t hide from that world or try to judge it from moral heights. Sure, you can argue that all movies and other works of art should be made from the point of view of trying to create a better world, but this kind of approach to culture and society has been tried before and it really doesn’t produce very good movies and doesn’t really change society very much.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Piotr Berman

      Torture is intensely degrading both victims and the perpetrators. Americans tortured thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan leading to intense hatred and total FUBAR in Afghanistan where Americans have to fear security forces that they help to train.

      Some case that came to light were so gruesome that they cannot be shown in ANY movie, I am afraid. The most completely described case is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilawar_(torture_victim) Dilawar, innocent taxi driver tortured to death over 5 days.

      Reply to Comment
      • The US found WMD in Iraq–suicide bombers, and the US helped make them. Condi Rice and Vice President Cheney both said “better to kill them over there than here at home.” But there was a clear sense that our presence created that onslaught. War does not stop causation, but it does suspend our analysis of it.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Laura

      It is amazing how different people perceive the movie so differently. As a woman, I felt for the main character, for how she is clearly uncomfortable witnessing torture of prisoners, and how she manages to stay professional all the same. I don’t think that showing any reality (including torture) means to endorse it. I think the movie does a fantastic job to show only the point of view of the Americans (mirrored in the way the whole capturing mission is filmed, never from the point of view of the victims), which in itself could be the greatest provocative statement of the movie: that the US only see the world from their own point of view. Strong and beautiful work from a great director.

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        I did not see the movie so I was not particularly convinced by Noam. But your review, Laura, is terrifying.

        Coming next: a beautiful work on youth councillor who introduced young religious girls to modern lingerie and greater knowledge of their own bodies, and remains professional (and much admired by his community).

        Reply to Comment
    7. Nick

      “This is the worst kind of propaganda, one which is directed at the bleeding hearts and liberals who seem to enjoy their action flicks with a sauce of “moral dilemmas” and remorse.”

      That’s a very astute observation.

      Most of the fawning film critics in the US who have hailed that vile genre movie probably fancy themselves liberal and the pseudo-intellectual tripe that these critics have used to defend the jingoistic content (using key words such as “complicated” of course) is very telling of the state of the cultural climate in the US. But there is a huge difference between the American (mainstream) liberal left and the left anywhere else. With all the ideological differences and sociopolitical and cultural realities between progressive and leftist people like me, most (if not every one of) of us are against imperialist wars and the policies used to bolster these. American liberals are on the other hand mostly pro-war and pro-imperialists even if they obfuscate their opinions using vague language like the language used in many of the positive reviews treating ZD30 as a flag waving masterpiece. An unhealthy amount of American liberals believe in American exceptionalism, mind you. There are huge rhetorical differences between the erstwhile, vulgar republican musings in George Bush Jr’s dodgy speeches and the sophisticated verbiage in Obama’s speeches but both administrations share the same views on the world and foreign policies with minor and marginal tweaks here and there. Only an American liberal will believe in the idea of a peacekeeping war. Many of them even believe in the idea of the US having a global role to modernize “savage” countries with capitalism and vapid pop culture.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Piotr Berman

      It is hard to make a sober analysis of the effects of torture. Torture is illegal and all to often lethal. It also requires various organizational preparations, planning, training, and given its illegality, in creates special channels in the government that are run by criminals who supervise secrecy and coverup. In other words, the precious intelligence that we may gain from torture is in the custody of murderers, sadists and liars.

      The efficacy of the cover ups needed to maintain that system require that the circle of murderers, sadists and liars extends all the way to the top, meaning, Oval Office.

      Thus the question “did torture help in the capture of Osama bin-Laden” has to be resolved with the information obtained for murderers, sadists and liars. “After the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden’s body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours after his death.” Who knows, perhaps they tell the truth?

      Reply to Comment
      • “Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that, in the administration of the criminal law, the end justifies the means — to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution.”

        Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting
        Olmstead v United States 277 U.S. 438 (1928)

        Brandeis was an early Zionist.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Jan

      This is one film that I will not see. It is bad enough that so many countries use torture as an instument of policy but for a film to glorify and justify it goes beyond the pale.

      What is even worse than the film is that soon an American named John Keriakou, an ex CIA agent, will be heading to prison for blowing the whistle on CIA torture of prisoners. While not one torturer, nor one person who authorized or justified torture will head to jail, this couragous whistle blower and father of five will spend at least 30 months behind bars and emerge owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

      And all this in the administration of the president who was elected promising “hope and change.” Sorry President Obama but George Bush must be very happy that you are not only carrying on his legacy but besting him as your administration has clamped down on more whistle blowers than all past adminstrations put together.

      I wonder how many times Pres. Obama has sat in the White House screening room enjoying Zero Dark Thirty. Probably more than once.

      Reply to Comment
      • aminah

        Bravo! Courage…seen so seldom lately, I simply HAD to comment. Thank you.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Vojkan

      Hat off Sir for writing what a load of rubbish 0 dark 30 is. Even more self-righteous, immoral, and devoid of any trait that characterises humanity than The Hurt Locker. Bigelow, Boal, and Chastaing are depraved morons. Now, one only hopes that there are people like you on the other side and that you start talking to each other like human beings.

      Reply to Comment
    11. jojo

      Bin Laden died in 2001 of kidney failure. All of the prisoners tortured had nothing to do with 911 or terrorism. Sad part–what is never revealed in any Hollow’wood movies–USA is a evil terrorist establishment–killed millions for profit on lies.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Natalie

      I am an American. I haven’t seen the film, but it seems the consensus around the internet is that there are some serious moral issues in it. I agree with most of what you wrote, other than one thing. I don’t think the film was necessarily for liberal bleeding hearts, because among liberals the “War on Terror” is shame. It is conservatives (many of whom benefit financially from the military-industrial complex) that remain so confidently, unquestioningly patriotic even when confronted with the horrible reality of the really fucked up things that happened at the hands of fellow Americans. In fact, the director got unprecedented access to national security info to make a “journalistic account” of the movie. I think what happened is that Bigelow got seduced by her very patriotic, Pentagon/D.O.D. sources, and ended up making a movie pandering to them. For me, I guess the narrative in my head is something like… well good, we got Bin Ladin, but at what price? So much useless death. And Bin Ladin succeeded in what he sent out to do: he exposed Americans as the hypocrits we are.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Jason

      One of the most pathetic excuses for a movie review I’ve ever seen. Poorly written, lazy and unclear invective, and no real point besides “The movie didn’t come from the same ideological stance as me.”

      Stick to politics guys.

      Reply to Comment
    14. ehnyah

      Do Americans still know how to read?

      IMDB: Did You Know?

      In an unusual step, acting CIA Director Michael Morell issued a statement about the film emphasizing that while the production team had met with the CIA, the film is a dramatization and is not historically accurate. Morell specifically contradicted the film’s assertion that “enhanced interrogation techniques”, also known as “torture”, had been of significant benefit in locating Osama bin Laden. Director Morell stated, “That impression is false. We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory.”


      CIA hated Zero Dark Thirty


      Debating the effectiveness of torture? Sick.

      Ignoring rape videos from Abu-ghraib, mass murder of children at point blank range in Afghanistan, and state sponsored wars on the innocent for profit and politics.

      Neo-American values on display for the world to see.

      Reply to Comment
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