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Drama - Spies

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Duration 2h 37m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story Based on real events
Writers/Script Mark Boal
Additional Info The script writer was offered, and received co-operation from the CIA in the development of the story and, some would say, it shows.
Director Kathryn Bigelow
Starring Jason Clarke, Reda Kateb, Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Scott Adkins, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, James Gandolfini, Stephen Dillane, John Barrowman, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Frank Grillo
Elevator Pitch After the 9/11 attack on the twin towers in New York, the CIA set out to find the leader of Al Qaeda. Subsequent to the invasion of Iraq they are able to set up numerous facilities where torture is carried out on personnel who may be in some way associated with him and, led by a female agent based in Islamabad, they gradually unearth the truth. Thereafter, despite lack of certainty, a SEAL team is tasked with an attack on bin Laden’s compound.
Content There is a great deal of torture in a variety of facilities including a ship in Poland, some bombings including the Camp Chapman disaster and the bus in London, several CIA meetings at different levels including some with the director, tension in the streets of Pakistan as the agency tracks the terrorists and then the actual attack on the compound. Quite a lot of shouting in CIA meetings. No sex or related nudity. Some drinking.
A View I saw this first in the cinema, but on second viewing have found it a more difficult watch, since it seems to justify the torture, which took place in more than 50 locations apparently. And just in case were were beginning to think it was inappropriate we are offered further bombings and shootings to keep us on side. But it is an important film in the portrayal of Western responses to terrorist actions which continue to this day, so watch it if only for its educational value.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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