Director Bigelow brings 'Zero Dark Thirty' to D.C.
05:00 AM, Jan 09, 2013
Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal brought their controversial film, Zero Dark Thirty, to Washington, D.C., Tuesday night, just days before the film opens nationwide Friday.
And despite much talk in the nation’s capital in recent weeks about what some consider the film’s controversial content, the audience applauded Bigelow, who spoke before the movie was shown.
The guest list for the private screening, held at the Newseum, was not made public, but Bigelow, in opening remarks, welcomed “the members of the armed forces, Special Forces and intelligence professionals and families of victims of Sept. 11 who are here tonight. That’s incredibly gratifying to us, and thank you for being here.” A huge contingent of D.C.-based media were also in attendance.
The film, about the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, has had its share of controversy and it has come from both sides of the political aisle. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others have criticized the film’s depictions of torture. They say the film implies that the CIA’s use of aggressive interrogation techniques, including water boarding, resulted in the key information that lead to the discovery of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan and his death.
“Mark and I are truly awed by the national conversation the movie has spurred,” Bigelow said. “As filmmakers nothing is more flattering, humbling and quite frankly somewhat intimidating” as creating a film that has sparked so much “thoughtful dialogue and debate.”
She also said “to be clear, we had no agenda in making this film, and we were not trying to generate controversy. Quite to the contrary, Mark and I wanted to present the story as we understood it based on the extraordinary research that Mark did.”
Bigelow went on to say that most of us are familiar with the “greatest manhunt in history. Many of us know how it ended, but perhaps very few or nobody knows every detail of how it happened. We tried to bring the story to the screen in a faithful way.” She said it’s up to the audience to interpret the film and that each person will have their own experience. Her goal, she said, was “to illustrate the ambiguities and the contradictions and the complexities of this 10-year manhunt.”
The Directors Guild of America announced Tuesday that Bigelow was among the nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film award for 2012. The winner will be announced Feb. 2.
And on Monday, Bigelow and Boal accepted best director and best film awards from the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Zero Dark Thirty.
The film, starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler and Mark Strong, has also received four Golden Globe nominations.