As the debate over Zero Dark Thirty’s torture scenes refuses to go away, Kathryn Bigelow has written a fleshed-out response to her critics in the LA Times. It’s certainly worth taking the time to read the entire piece — or as Grantland refers to it, “the clear, succinct, and logically sound smackdown that Kathryn Bigelow’s dropping” — but here’s a quick sample:
The Times asked me to elaborate on recent statements I’ve made in response to these issues. I’m not sure I have anything new to add, but I can try to be concise and clear.
First of all: I support every American’s 1st Amendment right to create works of art and speak their conscience without government interference or harassment. As a lifelong pacifist, I support all protests against the use of torture, and, quite simply, inhumane treatment of any kind.
But I do wonder if some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these US policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen …
Experts disagree sharply on the facts and particulars of the intelligence hunt, and doubtlessly that debate will continue. As for what I personally believe, which has been the subject of inquiries, accusations and speculation, I think Osama bin Laden was found due to ingenious detective work. Torture was, however, as we all know, employed in the early years of the hunt. That doesn’t mean it was the key to finding Bin Laden. It means it is a part of the story we couldn’t ignore. War, obviously, isn’t pretty, and we were not interested in portraying this military action as free of moral consequences.