Huffpost Entertainment

'Zero Dark Thirty' & Pakistan: Controversial Film About Bin Laden's Killing Will Not Screen In Country Where It Is Set

Posted: Updated:
"Zero Dark Thirty" will not screen in Pakistan. | AP

"Zero Dark Thirty' will not screen in Pakistan, as distributors fear inciting the ire of the Pakistani military and terrorist groups.

The Guardian reports that the Kathryn Bigelow film is also too "touchy" for Pakistani censors. One distributor cites a previous experience in which censors demanded so many changes be made to a comedy about Osama bin Laden that the movie was rendered unwatchable.

The news comes amid a full-court press on Bigelow's part. Though "Zero Dark Thirty" received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, Bigelow is not nominated for Best Director (she previously won that category for "The Hurt Locker"). It was a snub heard around the film world, and many point to the controversy surrounding the movie as the reason the Academy's voters shied away from Bigelow's name.

"Zero Dark Thirty" traces the efforts of the CIA and focuses heavily on what the George W. Bush administration referred to as "advanced interrogation techniques." There are graphic torture scenes in which characters are water-boarded and otherwise abused. A character who is tortured eventually gives a crucial tip that leads to the capture and killing of bin Laden -- a plot detail that has drawn harsh condemnation from senators and administration officials.

Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal ardently defend the film's veracity while also arguing that it is an apolitical work of art. While many scoff at the idea that a movie about a recent event in the war on terror can truly be separated from today's politics, Boal and Bigelow recently found an unlikely supporter in Michael Moore.

In a blog on The Huffington Post, Moore notes that, in the movie, it is not until Barack Obama orders torture be stopped that the characters get down to the "detective work" that eventually leads them to bin Laden. "Eight years of torture -- no bin Laden," he writes. "Two years of detective work -- boom! Bin Laden!"

All in all, the Pakistani distributors' decision not to screen the film may be for moot. The BBC reports that illegal DVDs of "Zero Dark Thirty" are already wildly popular with Pakistanis.

Oscars Snubs And Surprises 2013
Share this
Current Slide

Around the Web

BBC News - Illegal copies of Zero Dark Thirty popular in Pakistan

Zero Dark Thirty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zero Dark Thirty – review | Film | The Guardian

Zero Dark Thirty: a beginner's guide | Film |

Zero Dark Thirty, review - Telegraph

David Denby: “Zero Dark Thirty” and “This Is Forty” Reviews : The ...

Zero Dark Thirty | Movie Review | Plugged In

Cinemark - Movie Detail - Zero Dark Thirty

'Disturbing' & 'Misleading' by Steve Coll | The New York Review of ...

Zero Dark Thirty will not be shown in Pakistan cinemas

Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty – review

Has Zero Dark Thirty controversy helped its publicity?

The Surprising Gift of "Zero Dark Thirty"

"Zero Dark Thirty": US-Condoned Propaganda Promotes Extra-Judicial Killings ...

Recruited: William Goldenberg talks about Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty director given 'roadmap' behind US stealth mission to kill ...

Zero Dark Thirty - review

Kathryn Bigelow's CIA thriller Zero Dark Thirty is 'riveting'