Monday, June 10, 2024

Zero Dark Thirty

Saturday night, I watched Zero Dark Thirty. It has been on my list of films to watch for some time; I downloaded it to my iPad to watch on the trip to England and Scotland, but never got around to it. I read Countdown bin Laden: The Untold Story of the 247-Day Hunt to Bring the Mastermind of 9/11 to Justice by Chris Wallace several years ago.

Zero Dark Thirty is a 2012 historical drama thriller film directed and co-produced by Kathryn Bigelow. It was written and co-produced by Mark Boal. Jessica Chastain stars as Maya, a fictional CIA intelligence analyst, with a large supporting cast that includes James Gandolfini and Chris Pratt.

The film dramatizes the nearly decade-long international manhunt for Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist network Al-Qaeda. This search leads to the discovery of his compound in Pakistan and the U.S. military raid where bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011.

Zero Dark Thirty was nominated in five categories at the 85th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress for Chastain, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing. It won Best Sound Editing in a tie with Skyfall. It earned four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for Chastain, who won.

I was surprised by the portrayal of the interrogation of prisoners as a intelligence-gathering tool; there is quite a bit of torture depicted. I has also surprised by how long the Seal Team was on the ground in Pakistan. It seemed like the raid took forever. Reading about the actual raid afterwards, the team was on the ground for 40 minutes. It is remarkable that there wasn't a Pakistani military response.

I recommend the film.

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