My daughter Nell is studying for a degree in psychology and tells me she may consider a career in law enforcement. On Saturday we went to see Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow’s artistically, if not officially, licensed rendering of the hunt for Osama bin Laden which ended in May 2011.
Nell’s reaction to the film may explain why Bigelow has been denied what should have been a shoo-in Oscar nomination for best director. The filmmaker insists it was not her intention to shake anyone’s opposition to torture. She is adamantly opposed to it herself. But shake my daughter’s moral certainties she did and no doubt did the same to countless others.
This has some Hollywooders up in arms. David Clennon, a character actor better known as an activist, says the film “promotes the acceptance of the crime of torture”. He has Martin Sheen – President Bartlett of The West Wing – in his corner and is campaigning to see the film wins none of the five other Oscars, including best picture, for which it has been nominated.