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View Diary: Congress Condemns "Zero Dark Thirty" as Grossly Inaccurate (153 comments)

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  •  I'm not going to participate in a long debate... (7+ / 0-)

    About a movie I haven't even seen yet and am trying to keep a very open mind about but it should be added that many thoughtful film critics, who do not also happen to be political bloggers  but who I would not accuse of being pro-torture have defended the movie. I'm thinking in particular of Glenn Kenny, who I admire and who probably has annoyed some people here (or will when they read him) as he has taken on Glenn Greenwald's take in a style that is typically pugnacious for Glenn K. (and which I'm sure Glenn G. can take).

    I will say that often times art -- and movies are an art whether or not this particular film strikes people as "art" -- does not fit into easily categorized political boxes. Sometimes -- actually, very often -- political types tend to confuse the depiction of an act with the endorsement of said act. Even if the movie is, as I sort of tend to doubt but we'll see, "pro-torture" in terms of showing that it in some way might help in an investigation with little moral cost, it will be very wrong but also one of a great many movies -- great, good, bad, and indifferent -- that have also shown that.

    I actually have some strong political disagreements with some of my favorite movies. I think this would be a better world, artistically speaking if we didn't view movies, novels, paintings, etc. through strictly political prisms. That's not to say that people shouldn't condemn a movie's politics or, in this case, perhaps it's basic morality, if they disagree with them, it just means they should attempt to keep the thing in perspective. "Bad" politics or even morality does not make a bad movie and "good" politics or even morality does not make a good one. Really good movies, however, tend to transcend many things.

    Now residing in Van Nuys, but "LaBobsterofVanNuys" isn't funny and besides, Van Nuys is really part of Los Angeles

    by LABobsterofAnaheim on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:21:56 AM PST

    •  Agree with this 100% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, LABobsterofAnaheim

      Perfectly said.

    •  Not worth IT. We are saying there is no IT. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TealTerror, mrkvica

      Torture doesn't produce IT.  Just like the Spanish Inquisition didn't produce heaven on earth.  There is no IT.

      Sign my White House Petition [Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment http://wh.gov/n8Qj]

      by 88kathy on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:39:36 AM PST

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    •  I dunno (4+ / 0-)

      I think criticizing the political messages of a movie or book is fair game and necessary. That's quite different from arguing that a movie is bad simply because you disagree with its politics. David Edelstein of New York both raved about the movie and called it morally reprehensible. (Personally I don't know if I could love a movie whose politics I abhor. A soft-on-slavery? Nah, I don't think so.)

      ZDT distorts the facts in a way to either ignore or downplay 1) the dissenting voices within the government, so that torture and unabashed pro-torture statements and left unchallenged 2) the fact that torture was counterproductive (2 of 3 people who were tortured -- KSM and Al-Nashiri -- had info about the courier but refused to give it up and at the same time gave false info that set back the hunt.) 3) the fact that legal, humane methods are more effective - the best info about the courier came from Hassan Ghul before he was tortured.

      There's no aesthetic reason to exclude the key parts of the story. They made choices, with moral implications.

      •  I think the Edelstein type of position... (0+ / 0-)

        Is just fine if you disagree strongly with a film and like it otherwise. It's also fine to say "I disagree with this movie's politics and also think it's a piece of crap creatively and here's why." It's also fine to say "I think this movie makes a really dangerous statement and I think it should be pointed out but I'm not really going to address it's creative merit."

        What I don't care for is, "I object to this movie's presentation of X issue and I therefore think it's a piece of crap."

        Now residing in Van Nuys, but "LaBobsterofVanNuys" isn't funny and besides, Van Nuys is really part of Los Angeles

        by LABobsterofAnaheim on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:52:24 PM PST

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    •  This isn't a political disagreement, its a factual (0+ / 0-)

      disagreement.  Big difference.  I think we all expect a certain amount of creative license when we watch movies.  But any time a supposedly historical account is presented, we expect it to get the most important basic facts right.

      It appears Zero Dark Thirty fails this test.  I can't give that a pass.  Its like writing Titanic having the ship hit a mine, not an iceberg.  Or doing Malcolm X, having Malcolm convert to Buddhism.

      If you're going to tell the story of how we got OBL, and present it as a dramatized factual account, it should be factual.

      This is 1000x worse than what James Frey was run out of publishing for.  In his book, he only lied about himself.  This movie is lying about important events, and its doing so about an event which is shrouded in mystery.

      Frankly, this movie is BS and I don't think I can watch another movie the director or writer produce.  This is beyond the "ethics" of storytelling.  

      •  It's not a documentary... (0+ / 0-)

        Or even a docu-drama. It's a drama "inspired by factual events." Off the top of my head, examples of other movies inspired by factual events would include "Citizen Kane" with its terribly unfair depiction of Marianne Davies (if you assume Susan Alexander is Marianne Davies) or "Singin' in the Rain" when we know for a fact that people in early Hollywood almost never broke into song.

        "Titanic" is actually a far better comparison than James Frey, because he was actually claiming to tell a true story. "Titanic" was pure fiction inspired by a historical event. I'm sure people who know a lot about what happened on the real Titanic could gives us a long and detailed list of many, many things Cameron's movie got very, very wrong.

        Now residing in Van Nuys, but "LaBobsterofVanNuys" isn't funny and besides, Van Nuys is really part of Los Angeles

        by LABobsterofAnaheim on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:45:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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