CIA not too happy with Zero Dark Thirty
posted at 12:48 pm on December 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
“Considerable liberties” with the facts were taken in the film Zero Dark Thirty, according to a letter sent out to CIA employees from acting DCI Michael Morrell. In other news, water is wet:
The CIA on Friday said that a Hollywood movie portraying the hunt for Osama bin Laden “departs from reality” in significant ways, and emphasized that despite assistance it provided to the filmmakers, the agency had no control over the final product.
In an unusual letter to CIA employees, acting Director Michael Morell said that the highly anticipated film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” leads viewers to believe that a “few individuals” were behind the hunt for the al-Qaeda leader, instead of the “hundreds of officers” who were involved over the course of a decade. He also rejected the film’s depiction of the CIA’s interrogation program — and the implication that it helped extract valuable information from detainees.
“The film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country,” Morell said. “We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them.”
Hollywood departs from reality in almost every attempt to tell history. Take a look at almost any biopic or historical epic, and you usually find highly-manipulated storytelling masquerading as history. The Elizabeth films starring Cate Blanchett are good examples of this. On the other hand, Sofia Coppola did a pretty good job in sticking with the historical facts in Marie Antoinette, but that didn’t save it from being a monumental bore. (By the way, if you want a good cinematic version of Elizabeth I’s life that comports somewhat to reality, try Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth I two-part miniseries.)
If the CIA is unhappy with the product in Zero Dark Thirty, maybe they should get their Vickers in a twist?