Zero Dark Thirty True Stories: Everything the Movie Changed and Left Out

Zero Dark Thirty tells the exciting story of the search for Osama bin Laden, but changes aspects of the real story for entertainment.

Zero Dark Thirty is best known for its thrilling depiction of the U.S. government's hunt for notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden, but several details in the film were actually altered or altered from the true story . In addition, since its release, a lot of new information about the US pursuit of bin Laden and bin Laden's specific actions has come to light, which was not available before. Zero Dark Thirty was widely lauded at the time for its unwavering commitment to truth, but that didn't stop writer Mark Boll and director Katherine Bigelow from being sensational about certain aspects for entertainment value and fine-tuning.

The title of Zero Dark Thirty refers to the time when the US raided the bin Laden compound, and this moment is one of the most important events in the film - but several important details about the raid are now known to make Boal and Bigelow The authenticity of speaking out is reflected. At the time of production, the events depicted in the film were still shrouded in mystery and secrecy, meaning certain information was withheld from the public. Zero Black Thirty Is Far More Accurate Than Most Historical Dramas Manage, but that doesn't mean every detail on screen is exactly the same as it is in reality.

The Film Exaggerates The Government's Use Of Torture

Beginning with Zero Dark Thirty, one of the most brutal torture scenes in cinema, the US government was shown to have no problem using extreme interrogation methods on its prisoners. Viewers are immediately introduced to Jason Clarke's character Dan through a brutal torture sequence in which he attempts to waterboard to obtain vital information from a potential terrorist accomplice. But that's not how the military works.

Several senior government officials questioned the film's hyperbole, claiming that while certain methods of torture may have been used in some cases, they were rarely effective and should not be portrayed as widespread or successful. While Zero Dark Thirty and Bigelow's previous film, The Hurt Locker, are based in part on reality, the director has a habit of exaggerating certain aspects. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Graham Allison wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that "[Zero Dark Thirty] overstates the prevalence and effectiveness of torture." The extent to which torture is used in the United States is still debated today, but The consensus is that it's not as broad as Bigelow suggestion.

The Film's Depiction Of Jennifer Matthews Was Not Accurate

Although her name is not used in Zero Dark Thirty, Jennifer Ehle's character Jessica is based on a real-life CIA agent named Jennifer Matthews, who was in Her work in the Osama bin Laden investigation ultimately led to her death in a suicide bombing. In the film, she only appears briefly to work with Jessica Chastain's character Maya when arranging a meeting at the camp. It's a small role, mostly to demonstrate just how dangerous terrorists really are. However, many people who actually knew Jennifer Matthews took issue with her simplified and possibly condescending interpretation.

The Jennifer Matthews issue appears to be the most controversial mistake of Zero Dark Thirty, making it one of the most controversial films of the 2010s. Some of her colleagues who worked with said that the characters in the film "do not represent who [Matthews] is." Another claimed they were "very angry at this drastic depiction of Jennifer as some hairy schoolgirl" (via Reuters). If the filmmakers wanted Zero Dark Thirty to be accepted as a true story, they should have been more careful about including real-life characters.

The Detainees Did Not Reveal Any Useful Information In The Capture Of Bin Laden

In Zero Dark Thirty it is clear that the US military intends to extract information from detained terrorists, which in the end is how they tracked down Osama bin Laden through his associates. However, that's not actually how capture fails in reality. The detainees were of little use to the CIA - most of them refused to say anything at all, but for the very few who did, their messages proved useless and unnecessary. It was the CIA's investigative work that led them to bin Laden, not their intelligence.

After viewing Zero Dark Thirty, the former CIA director wrote: "Finally, the detainees held by the CIA did not disclose the full name or specific whereabouts of the facilitator/messenger. This information was discovered through other intelligence means" (via NRCAT). This brings much of the film's narrative into question, as Zero Dark Thirty seems to imply that Jessica Chastain's character is successful in her quest thanks to several detainees corroborating information about bin Laden via a mysterious courier.

The Film Gives Too Much Credit To One Individual

Although Zero Dark Thirty is considered one of Jessica Chastain's best films to date, her character was given way too much Take credit for what happened. The search for Osama bin Laden and his associates is one of the largest and most involved in the history of the U.S. military. There are thousands of CIA agents who have given their lives for years to the cause, yet Zero Dark Thirty seems to imply that Chastain's character Maya is solely responsible for hunting down terrorists. Naturally, several government officials were insulted and oblivious to the simplistic narrative the film presented.

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Graham Allison shed light on this controversy in his Christian Science Monitor op-ed, claiming that "the hype in which the film's fictional heroine succeeds by defying the 'system' is fundamentally It’s misleading.” Movies based on true stories have to take some responsibility, and this one seems to let that slip away. It was this backlash and controversy that prevented Dark Zero Thirty from reaching the same level of success as Katherine Bigelow's previous film, The Hurt Locker, despite its technical and narrative prowess. If the filmmakers really want Zero Dark Thirty to be an accurate story, they should recognize the entire organization that helped.

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