Freelance Journalist


Posts tagged Zero Dark Thirty
Argo within Argo within Reality.

While last year's Oscars buzz centred around films that celebrated fictional cinema, such as The Artist, Hugo or Midnight in Paris; this years fare is firmly steeped in the dramatic recreation of history. Lincoln and Django Unchained in its focus on slavery in 19th century America; Zero Dark Thirty on a post-9/11 climate and Argo, on the ploy to rescue Americans taken hostage in 1980's Iran. Where a considerable amount of scrutiny comes is in these films' adhesion to historical accuracy. The CIA and the Academy itself have slammed Zero Dark Thirty for its insistence on the outcomes of 'enhanced interrogation techniques', or 'torture', to the layman. Whether that's an indication of its legitimacy is unclear. The problematic element here is that these films constitute Americans being truthful about their past, which is in direct conflict with Hollywood's tendency towards propaganda as entertainment, rather than factual recreation. Zero Dark Thirty has avoided this in its deadpan delivery of its events, its resistance to playing up the dramatic and distancing itself from Hollywood.

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Zero Dark Thirty and the Post 9/11 Self-Evaluation

The final shot lingers on Jessica Chastain's face as she sits alone in a military aircraft. The pilot asks her, "Where do you want to go?" She starts to cry, her face listless. She doesn't know. And either do we, suggests Kathryn Bigelow. With our elusive public enemy number one murdered, after more than a decade of hunting, what gives our tortured and violent post-9/11 lives meaning now? Interestingly, Bigelow and her Hurt Locker writer, Mark Boal, have used Zero Dark Thirty not only as the exploration of the hunt for bin Laden, but also to pose a potent question about life after his defeat. It has been crafted as a vehicle to perfectly encapsulate the post-9/11 psyche, but the extent to which it succeeds is questionable.

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