Just A Film? 'Zero Dark Thirty' Dispute Just Got Serious

The furore surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden movie 'Zero Dark Thirty' has taken a surprise turn, with senators Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain questioning whether the CIA deliberately misled Bigelow and her screenwriter Mark Boal as to the specifics of the manhunt.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the three senators who slammed the film for alleged factual inaccuracies are now raising the possibility that Bigelow was duped by the CIA and are demanding that the agency turns over documents. Feinstein (California), Levin (Michigan) and McCain (Arizona) attacked the cinematic portrayal of the decade-long hunt for the Al Qaeda leader because they believe it suggests that key information was obtained by torturing detainees. In a letter to CIA director Michael Morell, the trio expressed a concern that "given the CIA's cooperation with the filmmakers and the narrative's consistency with past public misstatements by former senior CIA officials, filmmakers could have been misled by information they were provided by the CIA." McCain and co demand that the agency turn over to them "all information and documents provided to the filmmakers by CIA officials." Morell had previously sent an unusual message to all CIA employees on December 21, writing "some [intelligence related to bin Laden's location] came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well."

Sony, which is releasing Zero Dark Thirty in the U.S., has declined to comment - hardly surprising given the film is likely to benefit from the recent attention. It is still considered a frontrunner for the Golden Globes and Oscars.


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