NEW YORK — After surviving right-wing Senate investigations into possible access to classified CIA material while it was in production, Zero Dark Thirty, now in the theaters, faces charges from left-wing critics of being in favor of torture, not to mention accusations of inaccuracy from Democratic senators Barbara Feinstein and Carl Levin and Republican senator John McCain. A few weeks ago at a press conference promoting the film, director Kathryn Bigelow commented on some of these issues.
"There's no question that the methodology is controversial," said Bigelow when asked about the torture scenes. "But there was no debate on whether or not to include it, because it's part of the history."
Bigelow also pointed out that torture was not the only intelligence-gathering method used, nor the most effective.
"I explored the other methodologies," she said. "Like electronic surveillance. Over the course of the decade, many tactics were utilized in order to track this courier, and then track the courier to the compound, and now of course, the rest is history, so it was really a question of finding the right balance in depicting them."
The right balance also included delving into the souls of those who believed that the ends justified the means, a difficult process of empathy possible only with outstanding actors. "Humanity takes on a lot of different permutations," Bigelow said. "The beauty of this cast is that everybody was very human and very spontaneous."
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