Protesters greeted filmgoers at an Emeryville theater Friday for the local opening of "Zero-Dark Thirty," a film that depicts the decade-long hunt for, and eventual killing of, terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The demonstrators, including a man dressed in an orange jumpsuit with a black hood over his head, were decrying the depiction of waterboarding in the movie as a key aid in the search for bin Laden.
Mary Ann Thomas with the antiwar group World Can't Wait
said "Zero Dark Thirty" gives the false impression that torture was used to get information that lead to finding Osama Bin Laden. She was one of about half a dozen protesters at a Friday matinee showing at the AMC Bay Street theater.
“When you see it, realize that it’s full of lies," Thomas said. "We don’t even know what happened to Osama bin Laden, but we do know that torture did not help find him.”
On his way in to see the film, Alameda resident Nathan Jongewaard said he’s not concerned about the issue. “I think that audiences are intelligent enough to understand that a Hollywood movie is not gonna depict an absolute truth. I think this is someone’s artistic rendering of what happened," he said.
“Yes, it is just a movie. But it’s a movie that’s serving to promote and buttress the lies that are being told in many other venues." said protester Stephanie Tang. "Everybody basically is saying torrure is illegal but we need to use it because it keeps Americans safe. This is a very ugly lie, and people in this country need to reject it.”
How torture is depicted in the movie exactly what the CIA told filmmakers about torture's role in the hunt for bin Laden is an issue in Washington, D.C., too. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has written to the CIA twice in the past three weeks requesing information on what the agency told the film's producers.
In a letter earlier this week,
Feinstein and fellow Intelligence panel members John McCain, R-Ariz., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., challenged a CIA assertion that "enhanced techniques" were used on detainees to get information on bin Laden's whereabouts in Pakistan.