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Old 01-15-2013, 01:37 PM
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
I'm not sure what to say except that with all due respect, it seems like you genuinely didn't get what the controversy was about. No one thinks torture wasn't used, that's widely known and public record, I don't think anyone has a problem with the torture that was used being depicted either. The controversy is about the fact that the film purports to be a true story based on firsthand accounts and presents itself as following the facts closely, which it does for the most part. The one huge liberty they took with the truth was to falsely portray the torture as leading to the courier who led to Bin Laden. The movie depicts torture not only as being an effective means of gathering actionable intelligence, which all our actual top interrogators are on record as saying it absolutely didn't, but actually suggests that torture led us to Bin Laden which is in direct conflict with the actual true story the movie is supposed to be telling. The controversy isn't that torture is shown, no one thinks that didn't happen, it's that it's shown as working and leading us to Bin Laden, justifying it in the minds of many, when that didn't happen at all and if anything the false information we got from torture actually led us off Bin Laden's trail for years and set us back. Senators weren't writing angry letters and journalists weren't in a tizzy because they think torture wasn't used, they know it was, they've read all the classified reports detailing exactly what happened, they were pissed off because Bigelow and Boal were apparently afraid to depict the ugly truth and show the futility of the torture we inflicted on people or are just pro-torture themselves for some reason (their darling protagonist was a torturer) because they chose to falsely present torture as helping find Bin Laden when that couldn't be further from the truth and that's about the only significant point at which they stray from the truth. They're not making a documentary, but they've gone on and on about their commitment to the truth and the journalistic nature of the film so making that choice does make the film a piece of ahistoric propaganda, no matter how much you love everything else about it.
I see your point here, but speaking as someone who had pretty much zero knowledge before seeing the film, I can't say that the film communicated to me "torture caught Bin Laden". Not even close. The film depicted 10 years of hard work, trying just about EVERYTHING - including torture - to collect and piece together tiny little tidbits of information which eventually led to Bin Laden. If the film-makers somehow had as their agenda to promote torture, there would have been much clearer ways to communicate that to the audience (just watch any episode of 24).

I suppose the film - like most art - can be interpreted as one wishes. But as an impartial observer, I certainly don't at all feel that it was torture that caught Bin Laden after having see it.
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