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Kathryn Bigelow Defends Zero Dark Thirty Torture Scene (watch!)

KathrynBigelow-ColbertKathryn Bigelow is making the talk show rounds to explain torture scenes in her Oscar-nominated film “Zero Dark Thirty.” The effort is apparently aimed at blunting an organized campaign to prevent the film from winning a best picture Oscar.

Bigelow, who won a Best Director Oscar for her 2008 film “The Hurt Locker,” didn’t make the short list this year. But her film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” is up for Best Picture.

That is, if an organized campaign among Oscar voters to boycott the film doesn’t sidetrack the picture’s chances. Martin Sheen and Ed Asner are the latest Hollywood celebrities to urge Oscar voters to bypass the film because it “glorifies” torture.

Bigelow balked at talk show invitations a few weeks ago, because the U.S. Senate was considering an investigation. Lawmakers wanted to know how the torture depiction came to be incorporated in the film.

Senators with access to classified information say torture did not play a role in the capture of Osama bin Laden, the film’s subject. But “Zero Dark Thirty” contains a graphic torture scene that yields a key piece of evidence.

Bigelow finally appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” last night (Jan. 23). If she was expecting a softball interview, she didn’t get it. Host Steven Colbert peppered her with surprisingly tough questions.

“Americans don’t read books; Americans don’t read newspapers; Americans go to movies,” Colbert bellowed. “And, this depiction of the torture, the investigation, the capture of bin Laden is going to be our record… this is how we’ll see it.”

For her part, Bigelow called torture “reprehensible,” and said her film was really only the “first rough cut of history.”

Check out the interview below and be sure to follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest updates on the “Zero Dark Thirty” controversy.


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