“Zero Dark Thirty’s” torture debate

Critics and columnists argue over the interrogation techniques in the Osama bin Laden manhunt drama

Topics: Zero Dark Thirty, ZDT, Torture, Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan, Pakistan,

"Zero Dark Thirty's" torture debate (Credit: Jessica Chastain as Maya in "Zero Dark Thirty")

The same weekend that Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden manhunt docudrama, “Zero Dark Thirty,” dazzled movie critics, columnists attacked the movie for its depiction of torture. Specifically, the New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins notes that the movie, intended to be historically accurate, incorrectly highlighted torture as the key to Osama bin Laden’s capture; the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald went so far as to say the film “glorifies” torture, saying that the film “propagandizes the public to favorably view clear war crimes by the US government, based on pure falsehoods.”

Critics are now defending the film, triggering a politically tinged fact-versus-fiction “truthiness” debate that will be sure to run long after the movie debuts Dec. 19.

Writer and critic Matt Singer fires back:

From Scott Tobias, A.V. Club Film Editor:


EW columnist Mark Harris challenges Greenwald:



For those of us still waiting to watch the film, however, Mother Jones’ Nick Baumann sums it up best:

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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