January 24, 2013 |
PARK CITY, Utah -- Since opening in theaters last month, the Osama bin Laden manhunt film “Zero Dark Thirty” has intrigued audiences with its inside look at how CIA officers do their jobs. But the employees of the agency who tracked the Al Qaeda leader say that while they understand the need for dramatic license, the Kathryn Bigelow film gets a number of details about their professional and personal lives wrong. “The individual hunches [are what] came through on 'Zero Dark,' and that's not exactly how it happens,” said Nada Bakos, who spent years as a CIA target officer, gathering intelligence that helped lead to the elimination of suspected terrorists.
January 16, 2013 |
Under fire for the accuracy of "Zero Dark Thirty," director Kathryn Bigelow is defending the film's depiction of torture in the manhunt for Osama bin Laden. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers have criticized "Zero Dark," saying the film is "grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location" of Bin Laden. The lawmakers asked studio Sony Pictures to attach a disclaimer that the film is fictional. In her most explicit comments on the controversy to date, Bigelow conceded that there are disagreements over certain specifics of the manhunt but insisted that torture was an undeniable part of the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks of Sept.
January 14, 2013 |
The hunt for Osama bin Laden last year proved a bigger draw for this past weekend's moviegoers than a battle against organized crime 70 years ago. The thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" had a decisive victory at the box office, grossing $24 million in the United States and Canada, according to an estimate from distributor Sony Pictures. Despite a bigger budget and more famous stars, such as Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, "Gangster Squad" opened to a disappointing $16.7 million.
January 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Nearly a decade after the last Al Qaeda detainee was waterboarded, Americans still know little about what the CIA did to its prisoners, or whether it worked. President Obama decided against an investigation to hold accountable George W. Bush administration and CIA officials who conceived and carried out what he and others believed were acts of torture. And a criminal investigation ended last year with no charges and no public report. But now, a Hollywood movie has put renewed pressure on CIA officials to reveal whether simulated drowning and other harsh techniques elicited valuable intelligence, as the agency has long contended.
January 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After complaining for weeks that the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” erroneously implies that torture yielded key information in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, a trio of senior senators now want to know whether CIA personnel deliberately misled the filmmakers on that point. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), said Thursday that they had sent two letters to acting CIA chief Michael Morell.
December 27, 2012 |
First-time feature production designer Jeremy Hindle admits to some dicey feelings while taking director Kathryn Bigelow on an initial walk-through of "Zero Dark Thirty's" key set. But they weren't rookie jitters. "I remember telling her, 'You're going to feel insanely creepy. You're going to feel like he lived here,'" Hindle says. The verisimilitude Bigelow demanded for all aspects of the film was particularly important to the re-creation of the compound in which Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs last year.
December 24, 2012
The backlash in Washington over "Zero Dark Thirty" didn't reach the box office, as Kathryn Bigelow's CIA thriller got off to an excellent start in limited release. Playing in five theaters, the film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden grossed $410,000 over the weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Sony Pictures. That amounts to a robust per-theater average of $82,000 — the fourth highest of the year for a movie in limited release, behind "The Master," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Lincoln.
December 23, 2012 |
The critical acclaim for the new Kathryn Bigelow movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has renewed the debate on the efficacy of torture. The movie dramatizes the decade-long effort to find and eventually kill Osama bin Laden. In a riveting opening section, the film obliquely credits the discovery of the key piece of information in the search for Bin Laden to the torture of an Al Qaeda prisoner held by the CIA. This is at odds with the facts as they have been recounted by journalists reporting on the manhunt, by Obama administration intelligence officials and by legislative leaders.
December 22, 2012
Re "Senators say Bin Laden film is off base," Dec. 20 The trailers for "Zero Dark Thirty" tell us we will see the "real" story of Osama bin Laden's killing and that the film is "based on firsthand accounts of actual events. " Audiences are led to believe that what they are seeing did take place and is not cinematic license. I fully agree with the three senators: Clarification is in order on torture and Bin Laden's death. Lloyd Fradkin Newhall ALSO: Letters: Action on guns can't wait Letters: Which path on immigration?
December 21, 2012 |
When it comes to “Zero Dark Thirty,” there's been a lot written about the CIA and torture - whether it looked in real life the way it does on screen, whether it was effective, whether it was ethical. As we've been reporting this week, John McCain and other lawmakers don't agree it went down that way . The film, they say, misrepresents how the CIA found Osama bin Laden. Filmmakers say they've created an accurate depiction. Now that the movie has opened, we thought we'd ask you what you thought of the scenes.