9/11 terrorist biopic causes outrage in the Middle East
Amidst a backlash, there are rumors that Zero Dark Thirty has been banned in Pakistan unofficially.
The film deals with the real life story of the USA attempting to track down Al Queda leader Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator behind the 9/11 tower attacks, and has it hasn’t come in for an easy ride at home either – with comments being passed on its depiction of torture and interrogation scenes. However that’s nothing compared to the reaction in Pakistan, according to NBC, where the response has been truly heated.
The official line from the Pakistan government is that the Kathryn Bigelow film has not been officially released, with no one having supposed to have seen the movie. However officially bootlegs and pirate copies have made their way onto the internet and into the hands of the country, with those watching furious at what they’ve seen. “It went ballistic bad in depicting everyday life on the streets of Pakistan” wrote critic Nadeem Farooq Paracha. The decision by distributors not to buy the movie for Pakistan prompted intrigue into what exactly the movie contained, and people didn’t like what they saw. “As a film buff, the movie was inaccurate about Pakistan. If you’re going to say something about a complicated part of the world, then you should say it right” said general manager of Cinepax Moshin Yaseen.
If the suggestions that it’s been banned sounds over the top, then consider this account. “We were asked to stop selling the movie by some guys a couple of weeks after we started stocking it,” said an attendant at Illusions, a retailer in Islamabad. “There were four of them. Two stood outside, as if on guard, and two came inside and told us that 'Zero Dark Thirty' was banned. They said they were from Aabpara [the local neighborhood that headquarters the ISI]. They asked us to send the DVDs back to the warehouse, and they took a few discs back for themselves.”