Three Senate leaders - including the former Presidential candidate John McCain - have condemned Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar tipped movie Zero Dark Thirty for its "grossly inaccurate and misleading" torture scenes. The film is a dramatization of the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden.
In a letter to Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton, senators Diane Feinstein, Carl Levin and McCain say, "We write to express our deep disappointment with the movie 'Zero Dark Thirty.' We believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of Osama bin Laden." The film depicts the hunt for Bin Laden though begins with scenes of torture at a CIA "black site" that results in a key piece of intelligence. The letter continues, "We understand that the film is fiction, but it opens with the words 'based on first-hand accounts of actual events' and there has been significant media coverage of the CIA's cooperation with the screenwriters.. 'Zero Dark Thirty' is factually inaccurate." Screenwriter Mark Boal did not have an immediate comment, though told the Los Angeles Times last week, "This was a 10-year intelligence operation brought to the screen in a two-and-a-half-hour film. We depicted a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods that were used in the name of finding bin Laden."
Despite the Senators' criticism, Zero Dark Thirty has emerged as a serious contender for an Oscar in 2013 and has received almost unanimous praise from critics.