Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thoughts on Zero Dark Thirty

Last night, I saw the film that has been the focus of discussion, for months, in American political circles: Zero Dark Thirty. If you haven't seen it yet, here is the trailer:

As I was watching this movie, it left me floored and intrigued as I watched, on the screen, the portrayal of this manhunt play out over ten years it took place. The film started out in a very haunting manner, reminding viewers of the haunting sounds of September 11th and takes right off, showing a CIA interrogation in full force; much more realistic and in your face than anything seen in "8 days" of 24. The film showed the sacrifice and dedication of the CIA agents and members of the military who risk their lives to go into the danger zone so Americans do not have to face that terror and horror on the homeland. Jessica Chastain's portrayal of CIA Agent "Maya," brought to life this character's resolve and fight in staying focused on the hunt for Usama Bin Laden, despite the attempts on her life, challenges from those above her and the changing political climate. This performance, in my humble opinion is Oscar-worthy and I'm happy to see her nominated.

Kathryn Bigelow's ability to bring out the realism of the events of the film were quite apparent in the Seal Team Six incursion of the Bin Laden compound, from the dead silence as they attempted their breech, to the careful, yet strong way they made their way through the compound to kill the barbarian, as well as the urgency in intelligence gathering under a short escape watch before the Pakistani Air Force responded.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this film and do not agree with those who are critical of the depiction of torture, part of me, as I was watching, even though I was intrigued by the inside knowledge shown, thought this should not have been on screen; in the interest of American intelligence and National Security. About a year and a half ago, I was very critical of the access the Obama Administration had given Director Kathryn Bigelow and her crew in the making of this film and today, I still have some questions behind the factors in the granting of that access. Ironically, the film makes little direct mention of President Obama and while the movie does its best job to be apolitical, some of the dialogue is not favorable to the president. Maybe this has something to do with her direct snub as the Oscar nominations were announced?

I highly recommend seeing Zero Dark Thirty, as it is a clear historical account of the events of the War on Terror. It will appropriately educate those who were too young to remember the events of that fateful day, and remind those who did live through the events to not lose focus and continue the fight against those who wish to do America harm.

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