Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty - Best Torture Film since Hostel

"Zero Dark Thirty" is the best torture movie since "Hostel!"  But "Zero Dark Thirty" is patently pro-torture as writer Mark Boal argues this in the LA Times yesterday (source) whereas "Hostel" is clearly anti-torture - something that antagonists do and the hero must escape and eventually seek revenge. So while "Hostel" is a fictional 2005 horror film with cultural echoes to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, "Zero Dark Thirty" is a docu-drama featuring torture paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

L to R: A fictional film with torture paid by Hollywood and an actual incident with torture paid by U.S. taxpayers.

Worse, "Zero Dark Thirty" goes as far as to argue that the public outcry over Abu Ghraib impeded the operation to raid the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, casting the American public as an unseen obstacle.  Torture is justifiable means, the film implicitly argues, and results in the killing of an unarmed Bin Laden whose own capture and interrogation was not a priority whatsoever.  It's hard to imagine critics of U.S. foreign policy viewing the film as anything other than fawning military propaganda - which prompted Naomi Wolfe to call ZDT director Kathryn Bigelow "a Leni Riefenstahl-like propagandist of torture" (source).


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