Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore has stepped up to defendZero Dark Thirty, arguing against critics that the film does not condone torture.
Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty is getting heaps of praise and criticism for its semi-historical depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, as well as scenes involving “enhanced interrogation” (read: torture). The movie is almost completely apolitical in its handling of the history, but that hasn’t stopped critics from politicizing it on their own.
“I understand why a lot of people on the left … believe the movie endorses torture,” Moore said. “But that’s not how I saw it, I left the movie thinking it made an incredible statement against torture.”
Furthermore, as Moore argues, the film isn’t in the business of showing wither or not torture can work, or whether the ends justify the morally-degraded means. “The film shows the abject brutality [of torture],” Moore said. “It doesn’t matter if it works. It’s wrong.”
The film does show a graphic torture scene in which one of the tortured characters reveals a crucial tip that eventually leads to the capture and killing of bin Laden. This scene has earned the film its fair share of criticism with many seeing it as a pro-torture film.
But Moore doesn’t see it that way.
“[The interrogators] torture 100 people. One guy has the information. Everyone who doesn’t have the information makes up shit … so you have 99 people making up information and one tells the truth. How do you know what’s the truth?” he said.
“Once the Obama administration took over and torture was gone, they had to resort to good police work,” Moore concludes, echoing his previous opinion that the film’s tone, and the atmosphere at the CIA, changes significantly once the administration changes.