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Zero Dark Thirty 01

She has said it before. Now she’s saying it again.

Zero Dark Thirty filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has written at length in an essay published in the LA Times about the scenes of torture featured in the movie, insisting once more than “depiction is not endorsement.”

The controversy has dogged the movie for weeks as politicians and pundits attacked the movie, which was based on screenwriter/producer Mark Boal’s interviews with intelligence and military sources, for showing CIA agents beating and torturing suspects who later give up information that leads to Osama bin Laden.

In the essay, Bigelow declares herself to be a pacifist who abhors the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” the movie shows, but says she felt obliged to put on screen the gruesome details of what was done in the name of counter-terrorism.

An excerpt:

This comes at a critical time for the movie, which just opened nationally last weekend, coming in at first place with $24 million at the box office. It’s also a strong contender for several Oscars, including best original screenplay for Boal, best actress for star Jessica Chastain, and best picture — although Bigelow was snubbed in the directing category.

Her essay in the LA Times expresses things she has already stated several times. “I’m not sure I have anything new to add, but I can try to be concise and clear,” she wrote.

Can this help at the box office? Does it need to if it’s already faring well? Will this satisfy Academy voters who may be troubled by the criticism?

We’ll see as it plays out. Right now, the only certainty is that sometimes in an echo chamber, you have to repeat yourself.

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Zero Dark Thirty

  • Movie
  • 156 minutes
  • Kathryn Bigelow