Wednesday, 19 August 2015
ZERO DARK THIRTY
Zero Dark Thirty finally made it to terrestrial TV on Sunday. They cut two scenes . . . maybe more. They cut the scene where the guy who was being tortured was stuffed in the airless box; they showed the box but in the original version we see him being shut inside and they didn’t show the scene of Osama’s body being buried at sea.
I thought it was tremendous but I was glad I had seen it first on the big multiplex cinema screen.
It seems that it is still controversial more so in the light of Seymour Hersh’s recent revelations and the allegation now is that far from having full cooperation from the CIA, Kathryn Bigelow, the Director was fed a line by the CIA. Not bothered meself, like. It’s the same with all war films; Black Hawk Down; Hurt Locker, even The Deer Hunter, they are what they are and you cannot take a liberal-left position and say it glorifies torture or glorifies the American war machine. They are all nuanced. Bigelow compressed ten years and hundreds of low, mid and high-level CIA operatives into two and a half hours and Zero Dark Thirty was the outcome. It was terrific. Never wavered from its close-to-the-ground point of view and kept the talky stuff down to the essentials.
They made the Bin Laden Compound from scratch and the US Army desert bases, which look incredibly authentic, hot, dusty and fly-ridden. And windy [I have been there].
Is there a moral case against torture? Absolutely. Does this film make it? I think it probably does; it shows that it is hit and miss and that the graft and application that the Jessica Chastain character sustains for ten years, led to the right result.
Interesting little programme on BBC 4 on Monday about the cassette tapes they discovered in Bin Laden’s house in Kandahar [I have been there too] over 1500 of them. He seems to have been regarded as a joke at first by the likes of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar a Saudi Interloper prince with an ego but money talked and he bought himself into prominence and eventually leadership. One wonders how a ragged bunch of Afghan thieves and gangsters could even consider attacking the USA. If you have the money and the will and a few dedicated men and you want to show Hekmatyar and the others that your cock is bigger than theirs . . . its amazing what you can do.