Sunday, January 13, 2013

This is Why I'm Not Asleep

Apparently, Kathryn Bigelow's piece of agitprop irritates me. At least that's what I've been told. And then I write things on the Internet about it. But so many people are better at writing about it than me.

However compelling the heroine’s determination to find bin Laden may be, the fact is that Bigelow has bought in, hook, line, and sinker, to the ethos of the Bush administration and its apologists. It’s as if she had followed an old government memo and decided to offer in fictional form step-by-step instructions for the creation, implementation, and selling of Bush-era torture and detention policies.

Bigelow and her supporters seem to want to turn the debate into a strawman -- that people object to the depiction of torture itself and not the made-up consequences that Bigelow's movie says it has (getting real, actionable intelligence from suspects.)
Bigelow's claim that "depicting" torture is in no way the same as "endorsing" is particularly disingenuous given that her critics have clearly argued that it's the lack of accurate context in which it occurred, not the depiction itself, that is so problematic. Similarly, her argument in defence of her focus on the use of torture - that it was a part of the "history" the film explores and thus had to be represented - only works to the extent the film accurately reflects the actual events and conflicts surrounding torture's use, which it does not do.
Right. You gotta pick one, Bigelow.

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