Ted Johnson writes at Variety blog Wilshire & Washington about Mark Boal's "spirited defense" of "Zero Dark Thirty."... Boal, who was addressing the university's First Amendment Week on Tuesday, told the students, "It's fine for some senators to say they think I'm wrong about some of the scenes depicted in the movie. It's an entirely different matter for them to launch an investigation over it."
"It's the kind of reaction that may very well give some future filmmaker, photographer or painter, or writer, blogger or reporter, second thoughts about his or her work." Noting that constitutional law characterizes vague government action as a "chilling effect," he said, "when the Senate Intelligence Committee launches an investigation, I certainly feel a chilling effect."
He added that "as far as I know, Congress hasn't launched a formal investigation of filmmaking since the House Un-American Activities did so in the late 1940s." He was referring to the congressional inquiries that eventually led to the Red Scare and the Hollywood blacklist.
Boal, a former journalist, also devoted the 45-minute speech and short Q&A to defending the movie's blend of fact and fiction, as well as the way that it depicted scenes of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques." Some critics from the left have chided the movie for overstating the role that such interrogations had in the hunt, he defended the movie's depiction of torture, noting that "interrogations were clearly part of how this lead developed." CIA director Leon Panetta, he noted, recently acknowledged the role of enhanced interrogations.
"If we left torture out, we'd be whitewashing history," Boal said. ...Do read the entire piece here.
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