Kathryn Bigelow, snubbed for an Oscar nomination, nevertheless can celebrate the movie's box office success as well as make a further publicity blitz for Oscar votes, as the pic is up for best picture, screenplay and other categories. She appears on the cover of Time today, and earlier this week was on "The Colbert Report." It is a different strategy than letting the film speak for itself, something that may not be possible when a movie is the target of Senators' furor and criticism from other well-regarded national security journalists.
“This territory has been controversial since the early part of the decade, so I knew that the film was going to be controversial, though perhaps I didn’t anticipate this kind of volume," she tells Time. "... I feel we got it right. I’m proud of the movie, and I stand behind it completely. I think that it’s a deeply moral movie that questions the use of force. It questions what was done in the name of finding bin Laden.”
Although Bigelow says that "there's ambiguity in the film," screenwriter Mark Boal defends its depiction of the use of torture as "true."
"If the general impression you get from this movie is that torture played a role in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, that’s because that’s true. That’s a fact. It doesn’t mean they had to torture people or that torture is necessary or torture is morally right."
Time's Jessica Winter quotes some critics, including Robert McFadden, a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent in charge and a senior vice president at the Soufan Group, a strategic consultancy, who challenges that enhanced interrogation techiques "were critical to putting together the mosaic that led to Osama bin Laden." Then again, that notion seems to be contradicted by CIA director Leon Panetta, who wrote to John McCain in 2011 that some detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation "provided useful information" about the courier that eventually led to bin Laden.
The complete story is here.