Hollywood & Politics: Zero.Dark.Thirty.

So, what really happened with Osama Bin Laden’s capture last year? Republican Congressman Peter King seems to think that Kathryn Bigelow has the answers.

Bigelow is currently directing Zero Dark Thirty, a film describing the raid that took down Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year. The movie, penned by The Hurt Locker’s Mark Boal, received a lot of backlash from the political world back in January—when it was still only under pre-production. King, who also serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, publicly announced his suspicions on Boal’s journalistic approach for writing the script. He asked the CIA to open up an investigation into Boal’s communication with the Obama administration, claiming that the current government leaked confidential information to Mark Boal in hopes to sway the public vote in favor of President Obama. When King made the accusations, the film was slated for an October release. But since then, the film has been pushed back to December 19, well after the elections—and pre-Oscars, of course.

“If we can’t trust them to keep classified or sensitive information…how can we trust them when they’re dealing with a Hollywood script writer?”

Basically, King is calling this a propaganda film. And naturally, Bigelow and Boal deny the claims. They have been in touch with the Obama administration but laugh off King’s allegations of receiving TOP SECRET information. Boal insists that the film remains unbiased and only serves to describe our nation’s “triumph.”

Once a journalist, now a screenwriter, always a writer.

Irrespective of what people think went down May 2, 2011, the film is meant to be an action/thriller war movie that gives us a glimpse into our Navy Seals’ Special Operations team. The film is only one interpretation of what may have happened, based on Boal’s research. And perhaps it would serve King to know that Boal, indeed a journalist, had this script written years ago. He had to go through major rewrites, of course, after Osama was found and killed. Does his script contain the “truth”? Maybe. Maybe not. But Boal has done his research. And it’s disheartening to see others reduce—what I can only assume is—Boal’s passion project to something he whipped up for an election’s sake. No, I think he’s passionate about portraying our military in film—it’s his style, his genre, his job.

But that argument was so January. It’s now March, and the Zero Dark Thirty team face new hurdles. The film, which remained untitled until very recently, shares its name with a film from newcomer Paul Solet, slated for a 2012 release as well. Solet’s Zero Dark Thirty, a military term that means a late point in the middle of the night after midnight and before dawn, also (no surprise here) deals with the military.

Even more recently, conservative citizens of Chandigarh, India, where the movie is currently being filmed, have protested the representation of Pakistan on their land. The right-winged protesters also weren’t too happy with the extras in Pakistani attire. And their protests have even disrupted the production. The crew is only just a few days into the shoot, and already they have had to overcome several problems. But props to Bigelow and her team for continuing on and not letting these difficulties hurt the production. Bigelow will bring the script to life, and all I know is that I cannot wait to hear the director and writer comment on the film’s process in the months ahead. And hey, maybe we’ll get some insider information on the DVD or Blu-ray.

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2 thoughts on “Hollywood & Politics: Zero.Dark.Thirty.

  1. Sean Temple says:

    “Bigelow is creating propaganda! But you should totally go see that new film, Act of Valor. It stars actual Navy Seals and is inspired by actual events! They’re so badass. The war is badass. You should go to you war! You could be a badass too. I swear it’s not propaganda/recruitment though… See Act of Valor and join the Navy Seals!”


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