Lake Oconee Breeze

On the Screen

January 17, 2013

"Zero Dark Thirty" a suspenseful, semi-factual look

LAKE OCONEE — Rated R: Contains strong violence, including brutal and disturbing images, and for profanity.


Regardless of the cacophonous debate over the film, “Zero Dark Thirty” is a suspenseful, albeit simplistic, depiction of how the intelligence community and an elite military team killed Osama bin Laden.

First let’s deal with some of the white noise about “Zero Dark Thirty.” It seems there are about three major complaints.

Point One: If the film is to be taken literally, Osama bin Laden is dead because of one CIA analyst, a woman named Maya. Just about everybody else had lost interest and was focused on terrorism prevention.

Point Two: The film shows various methods of torture used under the Bush administration, which is too heavily handed on film and exaggerated in regard to gathering information on the location of Osama bin Laden.

Point Three: President Obama complicated things (or not) by removing the use of torture to gather information and was more than a little cautious in attacking the bin Laden’s fortress in Pakistan.

I have read that the CIA is furious about the film. The claim that it was a team effort and torture was not used (as much as the film claims) by the CIA when trying to track down Osama bin Laden. Also, there is some political bickering and sniping because the White House, politicians on both sides of the aisle, and the CIA were allegedly cooperative and now some are — not clear which group — apparently annoyed with the actual final results. (One article claims the White House is fine with it but the CIA is not.)

I think all of this makes my head hurt and is chuckleheaded chatter anyway. It is, after all, just a movie.

I think there are idiots who go to the movies and think whatever is seen on the screen after “based on the (or a) true story” is actually true. These are the same chuckleheads that send me all those moronic emails that claim things that simply are urban legends and can be easily disproved if they bothered to do any intelligent research without frothing at the mouth. With that crowd, I have little hope. So, for those of you with an IQ higher that a snail’s belly let us settle on this point: “Zero Dark Thirty” is a semi-factual, semi-fictional depiction of the justifiable homicide of Osama bin Laden. To you, I declare that it is a scintillating presentation, thanks to the usual hands of director Kathryn Bigelow who brought us “The Hurt Locker.”

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