Zero Dark Thirty detractors condemned by 9/11 families
Group representing victims of 2001 attacks says criticism of torture scenes by media and politicians is 'deeply disturbing'
Catherine Shoard; guardian.co.uk, Friday 1 February 2013 11.20 GMTt
An organisation that represents friends and relatives of those who died or were caught up in the World Trade Centre has come to the defence of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, the makers of Zero Dark Thirty, whose film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden has, they feel, been "badmouthed" by politicians and the press.
The group, 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims, issued a statement condemning those who suggest the drama justifies the use of torture in the hunt for terrorists.
Those singled out for especial shame include senators leading the investigation into whether the film-makers were given access to leaked CIA documents, a handful of film critics, and some actors who have spoken out about the film's use of torture.
Their statement in full:
[quote]As a group of 9/11 families sharing a rare moment of justice and elation in the viewing of a film chronicling the search for and ultimate death of Osama Bin Laden, we find it deeply disturbing that some of our elected officials want to discourage other 9/11 families and the public from seeing this outstanding film. Politicians who have criticised the movie and made misleading claims about it stand in the way of engaging a public dialogue for a stirring film which invokes feelings of patriotism and perseverance and honours our military, our country, and the victims of 9/11.
[quote]We are greatly concerned that a few pundits, "film critics" and elected officials are badmouthing this movie because of the water boarding scenes and because this film directly confronts the enduring terrorist threat.
[quote]We feel this is history – like it or not – and no effort should be made to rewrite or censor it for political correctness. Certainly there should be no organised boycott or suppression of films based on political differences. The word for that is "censorship". How bizarre that members of an industry that suffered so much during the McCarthy era would even consider doing this to their own members!
[quote]The use of the term "torture" by elected officials in hopes of dissuading people to endorse or view this film is antithetical to what our government should be all about.
[quote]As 9/11 family members whose loved ones were massacred at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, we applaud Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow for presenting a film that honours history, our military, our country, and the victims of 9/11 – through the excellent portrayal of how the US government and Navy Seals worked to apprehend Bin Laden. There is still a constitutional right to freedom of speech in our country, and censoring a film is totally unAmerican and against the tenets of our founding fathers. This film inspires dialogue and no elected official can censor any film. We do not want to allow Senators Feinstein, Levin, and McCain or actors David Clennon and 9/11 Truthers Ed Asner and Martin Sheen to inhibit our fellow Americans from seeing Zero Dark Thirty. Our loved ones died for these freedoms on 9/11 – and no one should ever try to abridge them. All citizens should see this film and make their own decisions about its value. This is what democracy is about.