Time Magazine’s new cover profile of Kathryn Bigelow may not change your mind if you, like many of Zero Dark Thirty‘s detractors, think the celebrated film’s torture scenes are “grossly inaccurate and misleading.” The article doesn’t really take sides on the issue, instead allowing readers to draw their own conclusions based on quotes from both the movie’s makers and opponents like former CIA director Michael Hayden (who calls the film’s interrogation scenes “inaccurate and overwrought and just plain wrong”).
Still, Bigelow does make a compelling argument for why Zero Dark portrays torture the way it does. “Where there’s clarity in the world, there’s clarity in the film,” the director explains. “Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan. That’s clarity. And where there’s ambiguity in the world, there’s ambiguity in the film.” She also doesn’t hedge when describing what she sees as the movie’s message: “I think that it’s a deeply moral movie that questions the use of force. It questions what was done in the name of finding bin Laden.” And, for the record, she’s quoted as saying that torture is “reprehensible.”