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post #51 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rourkefan View Post

Still, I have issues with this government keeping so much info classified (that shouldn't be) and other things open (that should be classified). BTW: The US government doesn't have an expectation of privacy, Government isn't a person.

 

My problems with the real life raid…

 

-It would have been more beneficial to national security to keep Osama alive and captured,

-They should have just sent a drone If they just wanted kill OBL. Drop a drone missile on the compound thus killing Osama and his wives and kids.

-Obama justifies sending in Seal Team Six cause he wanted there "To be no doubt that Osama wasn't still alive". (Yet he dumped the body in the Ocean and blocked the release of photos)

-I believe he just sent the team in there to get reelected.  He wanted to show that he is a badass motherfucker.  I believe that is bullshit.

 

I don't want to cause a thread derail, but it impossible to keep politics out of a war movie in my opinion.

 

Derailing is what you did.  It wasn't just to confirm his death (which they did), it was also to collect intelligence at the compound (hard drives, thumb drives, documents, etc).  Seems like a far better solution than just hitting it with a missile.

 

The reelection comment is fucking stupid, because it easily could have turned into a Blackhawk Down incident, or worse, a fire fight with Pakistani security forces. 

post #52 of 340
Yeah other Presidents might have weighed the risks and said "fuck that, not before an election". The chances of success were estimated to be quite slim before they went in.
post #53 of 340

There were so many ways for that raid to go bad (and it almost did anyway, several times over) just if Bin Laden hadn't been there. And Bigelow has repeatedly denied that she or the writers were leaked any sensitive material--hell, one of the members of Seal Team Six already put a book out telling his first-hand account of what happened. 

post #54 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe T View Post

Not all leaked information is created equal. That being said, the Bradley Manning situation is a somewhat complicated reason to do something as simple as boycott a movie.

 

How about the depiction of the use of torture as vital in tracking down Bin Laden?

post #55 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMR View Post

How about the depiction of the use of torture as vital in tracking down Bin Laden?

I'm not sure that this is what the film is depicting.
post #56 of 340
Thread Starter 

In coded terms, yes, that is what is being depicted. But what are we arguing anyway? How many of us REALLY know if it was torture that led to information about Bin Laden's whereabouts? I understand the issue has proved controversial amongst people who theoretically WOULD know, so sitting in our armchairs, why play Monday morning QB with this topic?

 

If that's going to be the argument, the underlying notion has to be, "they shouldn't have made this movie." And that's not an argument that goes anywhere.

post #57 of 340

Mostly people are reporting that it was depicted as involved, not vital.  It's frank, not outright supportive (so they say).  Not that I've seen it, but that's reasonable sounding if they do it right.  The argument against torture is larger than whether or not it occasionally works.

post #58 of 340
Thread Starter 

A lot of the conversation about this film is going to be about "glorifying" torture, as if making a film about this topic equals being a cheerleader about this topic. I get where people are coming from, and I understand their sensitivities towards the issue, but this is a film about employees getting a job done. There are scenes where people openly scoff at anyone trying to play politics. The characters in this film know one reality, and one reality only, and that's tracking down terrorists using the only methods they know how, moral or otherwise. It's the responsibility of the viewer to come into this film with more than one reality, and to react accordingly.

post #59 of 340

BTW: Having Asperger's is like having future vision sometimes.  I knew something was fishy about the propaganda aspect of the film.

 

Glenn Greenwald (who has seen the film) has a good explanation about why the movie is bullshit... BTW: This movie looks like that piece of shit Traffic from 2000.  Does anyone talk about that Clinton-era piece of garbage anymore?

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/14/zero-dark-thirty-cia-propaganda

Quote:

I'll explain why this is so in a moment (and if you don't want "spoilers", don't read this), but first, I want to explain why this point matters so much. In US political culture, there is no event in the last decade that has inspired as much collective pride and pervasive consensus as the killing of Osama bin Laden.

 

This event has obtained sacred status in American political lore. Nobody can speak ill of it, or even question it, without immediately prompting an avalanche of anger and resentment. The news of his death triggered an outburst of patriotic street chanting and nationalistic glee that continued unabated two years later into the Democratic National Convention. As Wired's Pentagon reporter Spencer Ackerman put it in his defense of the film, the killing of bin Laden makes him (and most others) "very, very proud to be American." Very, very proud.

For that reason, to depict X as valuable in enabling the killing of bin Laden is - by definition - to glorify X. That formula will lead huge numbers of American viewers to regard X as justified and important. In this film: X = torture. That's why it glorifies torture: because it powerfully depicts it as a vital step - the first, indispensable step - in what enabled the US to hunt down and pump bullets into America's most hated public enemy.

 

The fact that nice liberals who already opposed torture (like Spencer Ackerman) felt squeamish and uncomfortable watching the torture scenes is irrelevant. That does not negate this point at all. People who support torture don't support it because they don't realize it's brutal. They know it's brutal - that's precisely why they think it works - and they believe it's justifiable because of its brutality: because it is helpful in extracting important information, catching terrorists, and keeping them safe. This film repeatedly reinforces that belief by depicting torture exactly as its supporters like to see it: as an ugly though necessary tactic used by brave and patriotic CIA agents in stopping hateful, violent terrorists.

post #60 of 340

I thought Glenn Kenny had a good response to that article:

 

http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/some_came_running/2012/12/anti-torture-anti-art.html

 

I have Traffic on Criterion Blu-Ray. I like it. Sorry, I mean I fucking like that goddamn piece of shit.

 

See the movie and decide for yourself. Or don't. 


Edited by Mangy - 12/17/12 at 6:39pm
post #61 of 340
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the issue of torture in the film, and the reactions of many who seem disturbed about it (some articulate) have made me think about this picture quite a bit in recent days. It's a thorny issue, and I don't feel like I've made up my mind yet, contrary to my first post in this thread. That's a good thing, I think.

post #62 of 340

I don't know why I find the entire idea of this film to be incredibly morbid and off putting.  Maybe it's because I never want to hear this guy's name spoken ever again and would rather forget he ever existed.  Maybe I hate the media's seeming obsession with turning real life monsters into celebrities with audio/visual saturation.  He killed alot of people and his name is a household one, but can anybody remember the names of any of his victims?  

post #63 of 340

When the number of his victims is so high, I think it's natural to not be able to name any of them.

post #64 of 340

Yeah, I get not wanting people like the Conneticut school shooter's name mythologized by the media, but this is like saying you never want Hitler spoken of or made a film about ever again. The true monsters of history need to be remembered to remind us of how dark and evil humanity is capable of being (and furthermore need to be remembered that they were human, like you or me).

post #65 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

Yeah, I get not wanting people like the Conneticut school shooter's name mythologized by the media, but this is like saying you never want Hitler spoken of or made a film about ever again. The true monsters of history need to be remembered to remind us of how dark and evil humanity is capable of being (and furthermore need to be remembered that they were human, like you or me).

 

Rewriting or ignoring history is not what I had in mind.  Hitler and Bin Laden's future are secure in history books, wikipedia and other information databases.  I'm talking more about media outlets (movies, news, TV programs, etc) giving them a continued life as personalities.  If that went away, people wouldn't forget about the atrocities they spearheaded, they just wouldn't be as saturated with their legacies of fear, which is what I have a problem with...not for others, but personally, as in me, myself and I.  Hitler, Bin Laden, Stalin, Castro and the rest remain tucked away in the non important sector of my brain...they don't deserve my attention...but every time I see an ad for a new movie about them, it picks them up and puts them front and center again. 

 

I just don't care for it.  

post #66 of 340

So don't go see it, I guess? I don't see the problem in diving into the ugly side of history in film. Too many great, peace-advocating works have come of it that I don't see the overall problem with it, other than your delicate sensibilities.

post #67 of 340
all the political / ethical / moral hand wringing aside, I'm excited for the movie for five reasons:

1) female director
2) female lead
3) the hurt locker was awesome
4) I love me a good gritty procedural
5) GANDOLFINI
post #68 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

So don't go see it, I guess? I don't see the problem in diving into the ugly side of history in film. Too many great, peace-advocating works have come of it that I don't see the overall problem with it, other than your delicate sensibilities.

 

My opinion is not a threat to anyone's decision to see the film.  I stated from the beginning they were my own feelings and never suggested others should follow suit.  No need to continue the fanboy stereotype of lashing out with personal snipes at the slightest hint that someone else might not agree with you.  There are plenty of others championing the film if it helps you feel better about it.

post #69 of 340
Thread Starter 

In fairness, Osama Bin Laden has ZERO lines in this movie. And, um, very little screen time. If you know what I mean.

post #70 of 340
I'm going to a 12:30am screening tonight. It finally occurred to me the other day that I'll be seeing the movie at zero dark thirty. Nicely done, Arclight Cinemas.
post #71 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

I don't know why I find the entire idea of this film to be incredibly morbid and off putting.  Maybe it's because I never want to hear this guy's name spoken ever again and would rather forget he ever existed.  Maybe I hate the media's seeming obsession with turning real life monsters into celebrities with audio/visual saturation.  He killed alot of people and his name is a household one, but can anybody remember the names of any of his victims?  

 

Yeah, I remember the names of two buddies of mine who were killed in Iraq by the movement he founded.  9/11 and its aftermath is not just an important part of American history, but world history, for better or worse.  It's a worthy story to tell.  Just forgetting it happened doesn't accomplish anything. 

post #72 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepe View Post

Just forgetting it happened doesn't accomplish anything. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

Rewriting or ignoring history is not what I had in mind. 

post #73 of 340

Yeah, my bad.  didn't read subsequent posts.

post #74 of 340

I'm always fascinated by the mechanics of these things, even though I wish the whole business would go away as well to some extent.

That sort of raid is routine in movies and games, even ones purporting to be realistic.  In real life they're such a big deal the president sits down to watch (of course, given the target he would.  Still I reckon they're a tad more special than you'd think, based on other media), they really don't want to do it initially and the whole thing nearly goes horribly wrong.

 

Apparently they don't pay attention to Iraq all that much.  I kind of wish they would since that idiotic distraction clearly did not help anyone one little bit.  Still a story to be told there.  I suppose I want to see the Simons and Burns HBO 12-parter with the political bullshit in all its glory.

post #75 of 340

Is this film as good, better, or worse than the superb Zodiac?

post #76 of 340

Those sorts of raids happen all the time in Iraq / Afghanistan.  What made this raid so unique was not just the target, but also the location.  They never did anything like that in Pakistan.

post #77 of 340
post #78 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

 

My opinion is not a threat to anyone's decision to see the film.  I stated from the beginning they were my own feelings and never suggested others should follow suit.  No need to continue the fanboy stereotype of lashing out with personal snipes at the slightest hint that someone else might not agree with you.  There are plenty of others championing the film if it helps you feel better about it.

 

You're not the only one boycotting the film, but for different reasons.

post #79 of 340

I saw the film recently.  Superb.  Still chewing it over.

I must say that a lot of the anti ZDT statements in this thread come off a bit weak in the light of what Bigelow and Boal present (and don't present).  Things are laid out bluntly and unglamorously.  The filmmakers respect every audience member's ability to draw their own moral/political conclusions.

post #80 of 340

I caved.

 

Kathryn Bigelow can do no wrong in my eyes.

post #81 of 340

Leaving aside the artistic virtues of the film, I think it's wise to defer judgment about the veracity of events portrayed until the dust has settled. Bigelow wouldn't be the first director to swallow propaganda bait. 

 

Not that torture, extra-judicial murder on foreign soil, tough-guys-talking-tough etc. gets me hot either way.

post #82 of 340

It's not out till the 31st here, but I'm raring for this film. It's odd, because from the outside it seems like the exact kind of thing that my political self would avoid like the plague. Even from what I've heard, there may still be elements that could rub me up the wrong way. But at the same time, what I've heard makes me really fascinated about how Bigelow approaches this, and I'm really looking forward to experiencing this thing and finding out where my opinions lie.

 

And you know what? It's situations like this that are to me what great cinema is all about, and I love that this time it's being played out on such a grand scale.

post #83 of 340
I am very much looking forward to seeing this. I will be honest and say that while my politics are definitively anti torture, in this case I don't care one bit and I am just looking to watch a well directed movie about navy seals shooting Osama Bin Laden in the head. My desire to see this film isn't really more complicated than that. Bigelow is an extremely talented director, and I can't wait to see her handling of the climactic raid. I think if they're not going to release the photos, at the very least the public needs a film like this where we can watch it all go down with a sense of verisimilitude.
post #84 of 340

And that's actually one of the more unsettling aspects.

post #85 of 340

The movie is absolutely not pro torture.  If anything it shows torture as useless. 

post #86 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

I am very much looking forward to seeing this. I will be honest and say that while my politics are definitively anti torture, in this case I don't care one bit and I am just looking to watch a well directed movie about navy seals shooting Osama Bin Laden in the head. My desire to see this film isn't really more complicated than that. Bigelow is an extremely talented director, and I can't wait to see her handling of the climactic raid. I think if they're not going to release the photos, at the very least the public needs a film like this where we can watch it all go down with a sense of verisimilitude.

This is the most secretive administration in years. Hard-fought civil liberties are disappearing quicker than a truckload of stolen iPads whilst murderers and child-molestors can now expect less harsh sentences than whistle-blowers.

Perhaps the filmmakers truly have lucked out with credible sources willing and ready to suffer the same fate (or worse) as Bradley Manning revealing secret information. Or perhaps they have assumed the time-honored role of unwitting propaganda stooges to an increasingly dictatorial government seeking to foist just one more in a long and inglorious line of lies upon a public it now treats with contempt.

Doubtless I will get to watch it at some point but Truth will be the last thing I shall expect.
post #87 of 340
I haven't seen the film, but nothing I've read leads me to think it's propoganda. The CIA has denounced it!
post #88 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluelouboyle View Post

I haven't seen the film, but nothing I've read leads me to think it's propoganda. The CIA has denounced it!

 

 
The CIA is a largely unaccountable Praetorian Guard (post Iran-Contra) which takes considerable effort to perfect the techniques of kidnapping, torture, murder, surveillance, theft, psych-warfare, destabalising foreign governments, overthrowing democratic ones etc. etc. It also devotes colossal resources to managing public perceptions and influencing the political agenda. 
 
None of the above is the least bit controversial and ten minutes trawling the Internet could haul in a drag-net full of ostensibly "truthful" CIA claims which were later revealed as a pack of lies. 
 
The reality is - outside of a small group of politicians, senior officers, spooks and killers (most - or all - of which elevate lying to an artform) - no one has the faintest idea whether actions (and their contextual backdrop) portrayed in ZDT are in any way truthful and sans incontrovertible evidence in significant quantities we should treat them with a healthy degree of skepticism. 
 
If this makes me paranoid I'm only too happy to slip on the tin hat. 
post #89 of 340

Let's not forget Geoff Foster defended white South Africans living under apartheid. 

post #90 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

Let's not forget Geoff Foster defended white South Africans living under apartheid. 

 

Here. Take this handkerchief and dry your eyes. 

post #91 of 340

I'm just saying, you're like the last guy on the boards who should be preaching about truth and secrecy.

post #92 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

I'm just saying, you're like the last guy on the boards who should be preaching about truth and secrecy.

 

Then don't read it. 

post #93 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Foster View Post

 

 
The CIA is a largely unaccountable Praetorian Guard (post Iran-Contra) which takes considerable effort to perfect the techniques of kidnapping, torture, murder, surveillance, theft, psych-warfare, destabalising foreign governments, overthrowing democratic ones etc. etc. It also devotes colossal resources to managing public perceptions and influencing the political agenda. 
 
None of the above is the least bit controversial and ten minutes trawling the Internet could haul in a drag-net full of ostensibly "truthful" CIA claims which were later revealed as a pack of lies. 
 
The reality is - outside of a small group of politicians, senior officers, spooks and killers (most - or all - of which elevate lying to an artform) - no one has the faintest idea whether actions (and their contextual backdrop) portrayed in ZDT are in any way truthful and sans incontrovertible evidence in significant quantities we should treat them with a healthy degree of skepticism. 
 
If this makes me paranoid I'm only too happy to slip on the tin hat. 

 

At a press conference a journalist brought up the fact that they never got the couriers name through torture, despite this being depicted in the movie.

 

The producer responded, " it's a movie, not a documentary."  The actions portrayed in ZDT are not accurate, as the makers themselves admit.  And of course it's propaganda, it's fiction.  They did not receive any intel on the courier or Bin Laden through torture, this has been covered in numerous books and documentaries, it was given to them by the Pakistani government.  I find it amusing that people think this is a some kind of document of journalism.

 

This movie in no way passes the scrutiny of non fiction.   

post #94 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

I'm just saying, you're like the last guy on the boards who should be preaching about truth and secrecy.

 

He wasn't preaching.  But your touchiness is not surprising. 

 

Geoff is easily the most knowledgeable person I've come across on these boards when it comes to politics.  Not even close.  I think he's the first person on the boards who we should be listening to.    

post #95 of 340

Totally riveting filmmaking.

post #96 of 340
I haven't seen it yet, likely won't until rental, but I am concerned about the 'official' fictionalization of such an important event so very quickly after it has occurred. It may very well be a fantastic film, but it's hard to see its reason for being, right now, as anything but propaganda.
post #97 of 340
Propoganda for who? For what purpose? And who created it?
post #98 of 340
Quote:
At a press conference a journalist brought up the fact that they never got the couriers name through torture, despite this being depicted in the movie.

In the movie I just saw torture literally got nothing, except for a doubling down of hatred and determiation.  They literally get the name by tricking the guy into it.  In that scene he's as comfortable as we ever see him.  Torture DOES NOT work in Zero Dark Thirty.

post #99 of 340
Us, myth-making and a justification for the last decade or so, I don't have a good answer. Not that any of those are good answers.
post #100 of 340

If you can't actually answer that, then you're full of shit.  The existence of this film does not mean it's propaganda.  I would argue that the frank display of torture and the execution of lethal force near the end is anything but rah rah America revisionist history. 

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