Zero Dark Thirty Controversy

By James Finn 2-2-13 

Photo: Andrés Álvarez Iglesias

Photo: Andrés Álvarez Iglesias

The film “Zero Dark Thirty” has gotten five Academy Award nominations.  But it has also found itself in the midst of great criticism.

The film follows the ten-year manhunt for Osama bin Laden by U.S. intelligence authorities.  Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have been accused of emphasizing the importance of torture in finding bin Laden, taking pro-Barack Obama and anti-George W. Bush stances, and having illegal access to classified intelligence information.

The film is an ambitious project, compressing ten years of history into two and a half hours. The filmmakers strategically use archival footage from news reports about notable terrorist attacks around the world to propel the narrative forward.

In no way, shape, or form is “Zero Dark Thirty” a horray story.  Do not expect a Team America, Rambo, or Delta Force type action film. Rather, it is a film that lauds the tireless team effort of the men and women within the intelligence community and military special operations forces.

The lead character is named Maya.  She is a CIA officer played by Jessica Chastain.  Maya has spent the majority of her career tracking bin Laden’s movements throughout the Middle East.  Her journey takes her around the world interrogating associates tied to bin Laden and linking their stories together. Her labor and that of her fellow CIA officers culminate in the raid of a compound housing bin Laden in Pakistan by the U.S. Navy Seals on May 2, 2011.