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Zero Dark Thirty attacked for perpetuating torture myth


Zero Dark Thirty, the new film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is “inaccurate” for suggesting torture helped lead to his discovery.

That is according to three US senators who outlined their objections to Zero Dark Thirty in a letter to the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-tipped drama, their letter claims, is “perpetuating the myth that torture is effective”.

In a statement, Kathryn Bigelow said her film depicts “a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods”.


According to the director and Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal, no single method was responsible in the successful manhunt for the terrorist leader.

The letter, made public on Wednesday, was co-signed by Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and former Presidential candidate John McCain.

Zero Dark Thirty, the new film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is considered inaccurate for suggesting torture helped lead to his discovery

Zero Dark Thirty, the new film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, is considered inaccurate for suggesting torture helped lead to his discovery

The trio, all of whom are members of the Senate Intelligence committee, said that Sony and its CEO, Michael Lynton, had an obligation to alter the movie.

“The fundamental problem is that people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe that the events it portrays are facts,” the three senators wrote.

“The film therefore has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner.”

The senators said the “use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America’s values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged”.

The makers of Zero Dark Thirty, they went on, had “a social and moral obligation to get the facts right”.

Earlier this year Kathryn Bigelow’s film was accused of being a propaganda tool intended to assist President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

The release of the film was subsequently put back until after November’s election.

It was also claimed Mark Boal, who previously worked with Bigelow on Oscar-winning drama The Hurt Locker, had been granted access to classified information, an allegation he denied.

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