'Zero Dark Thirty's' screenwriter on interrogation debate
"The Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have crafted an acclaimed movie with "Zero Dark Thirty," and along the way they've spurred a healthy debate.
The film stars Jessica Chastain as a C.I.A. agent involved in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, but the portrayal of "enhanced interrogation," including waterboarding and other methods, has some viewers questioning the movie's message.
The New York Times' Frank Bruni mused in a recent column that the film appears to suggest that such interrogation methods were "vital to the pursuit of the world's most wanted man." Although, he noted, the movie might also "function as a Rorschach test, [with] different viewers seeing in it what they want to see."
CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen has said that he believes the film "captures a lot that is true" about the search but also "distorts the story" in a way that could give moviegoers the "misleading picture that coercive interrogation techniques used by the CIA on al Qaeda detainees - such as waterboarding, physical abuse and sleep deprivation - were essential to finding bin Laden."
The debate is only going to grow from here, considering that the movie won't open in limited release until December 19, but screenwriter Mark Boal isn't too concerned.
"It doesn't really concern me because that is a part of the story here," Boal told CNN at the "Zero Dark Thirty" premiere in Hollywood Monday. "People will debate it, of course, but there is a lot more to the movie than that, and we try to show all the different things that the CIA did. But that is a part of the story too."
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