Bin Laden movie "Zero Dark Thirty" arrives, mired in controversy

Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:13pm EST
 
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow could have made a testosterone-fueled shoot-'em-up Hollywood version of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.

Instead, she and screenwriter Mark Boal turned "Zero Dark Thirty" into a more complex look at the decade-long hunt for the al Qaeda leader, including a frank presentation of U.S. torture and previously undisclosed details of the mission to hunt down the man behind the September 11 attacks.

When the film opens in limited U.S. release on Wednesday, Bigelow and Boal want audiences to disregard a year of controversies, including claims, which they have denied, that the film makers were leaked classified information.

"It's about a look inside the intelligence community. The strength and power and courage and dedication and tenacity and vulnerability of these women and men," Bigelow, 61, told Reuters in a joint interview with Boal.

Bigelow won an Academy Award in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker," about U.S. army bomb disposal experts in Iraq. She says her latest movie puts the audience at the center of the quest to find bin Laden, and gives a perspective of the U.S. intelligence community and how its methods changed in the years following the September 11 attacks.

"It's a controversial topic, it's a topic that has been endlessly politicized. The film has been mischaracterized for a year and a half and we would love it if people would go and see it and judge for themselves," Boal said.

The action thriller has emerged as an Oscar front-runner after picking up multiple early awards and nominations from Hollywood groups.

FROM TORA BORA TO ABBOTTABAD   Continued...

 
Director and producer of the movie Kathryn Bigelow waves at the premiere of "Zero Dark Thirty"at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California December 10, 2012. The movie opens in the U.S. on January 11. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni