Waterboarding in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Zero Dark Thirty is a great picture, one that deserves all the awards that’s it’s starting to receive. Very few of us have actually seen the movie yet, but its matter-of-fact portrayal of enhanced interrogation techniques is generating controversy. California Senator  Diane Feinstein says that an early scene where CIA operatives waterboard a terror suspect is “completely fabricated.” David Edelstein of New York Magazine calls it the best movie of the year yet still freaks out and says Zero Dark Thirtyborders on the politically and morally reprehensible.”

Of course, information revealed in the interrogation is the starting point for a long, frustrating investigation that finally leads to the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad. Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal’s dispassionate suggestion that waterboarding played a necessary role in finding bin Laden is sure to set off a media firestorm once more people have a chance to see the film.

Jason Clarke plays “Dan” and he shows neither hesitation nor regret when carrying out the interrogation. Clarke told Showbiz 411 that he’d gotten himself waterboarded in preparation for the role: “Of course, it’s a lot different when you know it can be stopped, and people are there to make sure nothing bad happens.…I can tell you, it’s not something you ever want to do. But I wanted to understand the experience.”

The movie opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 19th to qualify for the Academy Awards but won’t open wide until January 11th. Clarke’s performance is one of the highlights in a movie filled with great performances. Check out this interview footage where he talks about making the film.

Want to know more about the guys who took out Osama bin Laden? Check out Military.com’s Special Operations Channel.

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