Zero Dark Thirty hasn’t even been officially released in theaters, yet it’s stirring up a great deal of controversy involving its plot about the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden. The film has received so much attention that the Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating whether the CIA granted inappropriate access to classified information to the director Kathryn Bigelow and the screenwriter Mark Boal.
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, is searching to find if the methods of torture depicted in the film, which ultimately led to the capture of the 9/11 mastermind, was illegally divulged by the CIA.
Both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Carl Levin expressed their objections that torture was the method used to obtain information that led to the killing of Bin Laden. The Senators even sent a harsh letter to Sony Pictures, the film distributor, demanding that a “This is not real” disclaimer be added to the movie.
Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell wrote a letter to CIA officials defending the criticism he received for the depiction of torture in the film saying, “What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts,” Morell told agency personnel. “CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.”
Sony is standing by Zero Dark Thirty, issuing a statement saying, “As the studio distributing Zero Dark Thirty in the United States, we are proud of this important film. Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and their creative team have made an extraordinary motion picture and we fully support bringing this remarkable story to the screen.”
The film has received rave reviews from the industry’s top critics, Roger Ebert wrote that, “Zero Dark Thirty performers are razor-sharp and detailed, the acting restrained and the timing is perfect.”
Zero Dark Thirty opens nationwide on January 11th 2013.