Thursday, January 03, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

I almost typed this up in the comments on another blog, but I didn't want to give away stuff on other people's blogs that I could give away here instead.

I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago with a talkback from screenwriter Mark Boal after. His line is very journalistic -- "These things happened" is essentially a paraphrase of his response to questions about the morality and politics of the movie. It's both true and feels like an easy dodge, and I've felt torn ever since about whether the movie is actually interested in asking tough moral questions it may not have the answers to, or just trying to tell a strong character story that happens to be about really difficult history. It does both of these things (whether the filmmakers intend it to or not), which is what makes it compelling, but I still found it to be a seriously unpleasant experience. Regardless of its moral or artistic integrity, it made me sick to my stomach.

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