Kathryn Bigelow Discusses Zero Dark Thirty in Time Magazine Cover Story 2

Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty, Time Mag Cover

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Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty on Time Magazine CoverKathryn Bigelow and “Zero Dark Thirty” is this week’s Time Magazine cover story.

The cover is historic for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that a female director is on the cover of Time Magazine (the only female to ever receive an Oscar for best director).

Bigelow also delves into her career and the controversy surrounding her Oscar-nominated film “Zero Dark Thirty.”

According to the story, Bigelow, who began her career as a painter in the 1970’s, turned to film after a conversation with Andy Warhol, who said film was more “populist” than art, which he described as “elitist.”

Anyone who is looking for tidbits about Bigelow’s personal life, like her marriage to “Avatar” director James Cameron or the status of her relationship with screenwriter Mark Boal — rumored once to be romantic but now still definitely a creative filmmaking team — may be disappointed. But the brilliant and brainy director, who is an astonishing 61, talks in depth about her work and addresses — for the umpteenth time, it seems — the controversy surrounding her Academy Award-nominated film, including the depiction of the torture scenes.

In defending the film, she says in the article, “I feel we got it right. I’m proud of the movie, and I stand behind it completely. I think that it’s a deeply moral movie that questions the use of force. It questions what was done in the name of finding bin Laden.”

I don’t understand why Bigelow has been getting hammered about the torture scenes when everyone knows they happened in real life. “Depiction” is not “endorsement” she said at the New York Film Critics Circle awards, a statement I would think is self evident. I mean, was Steven Spielberg accused of glamorizing war with “Saving Private Ryan”?

Anyone who watches “Zero Dark Thirty” is forced to grapple with disturbing moral issues of what is justice and what is revenge. Also, we’re forced to think about how we feel personally about enhanced interrogation, not only morally, but how effective it was in finding Osama bin Laden. About the latter, not so much according to what I saw in the film.

“Zero Dark Thirty” focused on the incredible teamwork of many CIA agents who used their sleuthing skills and intellect to track down the evil mastermind of the destruction of the Twin Towers and the death of 3000 innocent people. What I like about Bigelow’s film is that she doesn’t tell you what to think or how to feel. “Zero Dark Thirty” makes viewers question their own moral compass, and a lot of people are uncomfortable with that.

I hope the controversy doesn’t prevent filmmakers, especially women directors, from tackling controversial themes that they fear will create this kind of backlash. This movie is so rich and dense that it encourages conversation and debate, and that is so rare to find. Below is a press release on the article.

For the full story, pick up a copy of this week’s Time Magazine.

Follow @TIME on Twitter.

Kathryn Bigelow on the set of Zero Dark Thirty

Paula Schwartz

About Paula Schwartz

Paula Schwartz is a veteran journalist based in New York who is passionate about the movies. Her idea of heaven is watching three movies in a row. She’s written for various outlets, including the New York Times, Showbiz411, More and MovieMaker Magazine. For five seasons, she contributed to the New York Times seasonal movie blog, Carpetbaggers, where she covered major awards events and interviewed stars like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Helen Mirren.

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