Kathryn Bigelow on “Zero Dark Thirty”: “It’s illogical to ignore torture”
“I do wonder if some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these US policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen,” her piece continues. “Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no film-maker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time.
“This is an important principle to stand up for, and it bears repeating. For confusing depiction with endorsement is the first step toward chilling any American artist’s ability and right to shine a light on dark deeds, especially when those deeds are cloaked in layers of secrecy and government obfuscation. Indeed, I’m very proud to be part of a Hollywood community that has made searing war films part of its cinematic tradition. Clearly, none of those films would have been possible if directors from other eras had shied away from depicting the harsh realities of combat.
“On a practical and political level, it does seem illogical to me to make a case against torture by ignoring or denying the role it played in US counter-terrorism policy and practices.”