Zero Dark Thirty
Violence in movies is one of the most popular topics in modern cinema. The main goal of such movies is to show real-life to the audience. There are many disputes related to the necessity of such movies. Some claim that violence in movies encourages violence and has a negative impact on human consciousness. Others think that cinema is the reflection of life, and if the world is full of violence, it is necessary to show it in movies in order to highlight the truth. Zero Dark Thirty is directed by Kathryn Bigelow. This is an American movie based on real facts. The main themes of the movie are events that happened after 11 September in the USA.
This movie is referred o tas “A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011” (Zero Dark Thirty). The main heroine of this movie is a central figure in this battle, whose efforts help to reach the main goal at the end. The main purpose of the movie is to show events that happened after 11/9 and hunting for al-Qaeda terrorist leader. During this movie, the director is willing to highlight both sides of the conflict, the USA and the East.
Violence is one of the most crucial issues in the movie. The first scene is a torture of the captive where it is possible to see how cruel these tortures are. The movie is full of violent scenes. However, the director shows them carefully, and consequently these scenes are not shown in an aggressive way, but reflect the reality. The scenes of violence are “covered by the dark” as they showed in green light and reflected the events that happened during the night. In the US media, the capture of Osama is viewed as something positive, as the victory of the nation, as the victory of goodness. However, the movie shows what happened in the “dark” of that man hunting. The beginning of the movie showed the violent tortures of the captive that were made by CIA in an ‘undisclosed’ location. From this scene, the audience sees the dark side of the CIA and that in order to get the necessary information the CIA used the most violent techniques. “Until Americans stop indulging our elected officials in their appetite for secrecy, we will not know exactly what orders the Navy Seals carried into Abbottabad” (Bromwich ). Pretty clearly, it was a kill mission. The director of the movie is not willing to show how the great nation captured the most dangerous terrorist in the world, but highlight the real events of that war and what price was paid in order to catch Osama.
The first part of the movie shows the picture of a plan preparation and the efforts of strong and brave women, the main heroine Maya in particular. However, the second part of the movie shows all terrible events that happened in the East and how ordinary people were violently killed by American soldiers. The second part of the movie is a crucial part as it highlights all the cruelty and dark reality of those actions. The director of the movie created a scene that showed how American soldiers hunted Osama. Those actions were made during the night and were portrayed almost in real time. In order to find Osama, American soldiers killed every man on their way during the raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad. They did not know whether those people were Osama or terrorists, but they committed these cruel attacks. The film also shows the picture of these violent actions, where American soldiers killed the fathers of the families, and even screams of women and children did not change their actions. The first part of the movie shows a ten-year trajectory of future actions, and the last twenty minutes highlight those terrible actions. Concerning the tortures, “Bigelow and Boal have denied that they meant to show that torture produces the desired information. No viewer of the film, without being primed by that evasion, would suppose the film has a complex attitude here. It suggests that torture is regrettable but necessary (the agent who says he will break his victim also says he needs a rest after months and “100 naked bodies”), and that torture works” (Bromwich).
The issue is that there are many disputes related to violence in movies. Many people think that violent scenes have an extremely negative impact on human mind. Moreover, there are some opinions that violence on American television increases the crime rate among teenagers. However, the fact is that the world is full of violence, and cinema must reflect the reality of the world (Goldberg). Another significant issue is that by showing the violence on the screen, directors send a specific message to the audience. When people act, they may not consider what negative sides of these acts exist. They do not recognize how cruel they are, but the art and cinema shows a full picture of these actions, and consequently it is possible to examine them. There appears a question whether violence in movies is ethical or not. In order to find the answer, first of all, it is necessary to understand the meaning of ethics. Ethical norms refer to what is good and what is wrong. If violence is shown from negative side in the movie, it is possible to conclude that the movie is based on ethical norms. However, if the movie is just the reflection of violent events and the director does not express his or her own opinion, is it ethical? Another issue is that violence in movies can have different impact and reaction on the audience. For example, one of the most famous Kubrick’s movies Clockwork Orange describes the story of young criminals. The movie is full of violence and causes many disputes related to the issue of its impact on youngsters. Many critics blamed this movie for every crime that appeared in England. However, the fact is that the movie showed crime and violence from the negative side, and the authors of the scenario as well as the director were willing to express their negative attitude towards the movie. It is the example of wrong interpretation and, as a result, a different impact. A famous American director Michael Moore in his documentary Bowling for Columbine argues that the high crime rate in America and violence are not caused only by the entire information and entertainment industries. Many people argue that the main reasons for the high rate of violence in American schools are media and entertainment industry. Nevertheless, in this documentary, Michael Moore asked several teenagers in Canada what they watch, and they said that they like the same movies as American teenagers. Stressing that the crime rate among teenagers in Canada is much lower compared with America, Moore shows that the root of the problem lies somewhere else. In my opinion, every genre of art is the reflection of the world, and the main goal of artists is to highlight the truth and cause emotions. Moreover, art is a form of self-expression, where the author has the right to express his or her own opinion. Consequently, it is possible to conclude that violence on the screen is inevitable and ethical. However, the way of its performance must be based on ethic norms.
The fact is that after 11/9, the American society has changed. All Americans felt a real aggression towards Muslim world. When the government set its main goal to catch Osama, everybody agreed with this goal, but nobody recognize what price will be paid. While the media highlighted men hunting Osama from positive sides, the director of the movie brings a real picture of those events. The title of the movie is extremely symbolic as all negative sides were shown in the ‘dark’. This effect symbolizes a dark side of Osama’s capture. The most crucial thing in the movie is that violent scenes are realistic, but directed accurately and carefully in order to let the audience watch them. The movie is vital for the American society as it discusses one of the most crucial issues. 11/9 was a dark spot in the American history; those attacks were the example of how cruel humanity can be. The fact is that America replied to those violent attacks in the same violent way. The director of the movie was willing to show all these events that happened during Osama’s hunting. She made her movie realistic, almost documentary, where even music plays just in several rare scenes, especially in the last twenty minutes where Osama’s capture is shown; the director made these scenes in real time, so the audience can be in role of these soldiers. All scenes happen very fast and dynamic, and it adds more dramatics and suspense to the movie.
The movie also highlights such question as who Osama is and how he is supposed to be caught. According to Huff Post, “it was done by the torture of detainees, by the collection and deduction of evidence from dossiers, videos, recorded phone calls and intercepted emails, and by tailing couriers (Bromwich)”. There is a scene in the movie where American soldiers have a talk, where they discuss Osama Bin Laden’s existence. From this scene, it is possible to see that people did not know exactly if interpretations of events of 11/9 are true or not.
The main heroine plays a significant role in the movie. She is obsessed by the idea of Osama’s capture and more than 10 years, her life is dedicated to this hunting. Her colleagues claim that she is fighting with the ghosts. However, this hunting is the main purpose of life for her, not just obligation. Maya isolated herself from the entire world in order to achieve her goal. The female character in this movie is a central figure. It is possible to ask how she perceives the violent situation around her, what experience and what challenges she faces. In the first scene, where the tortures of the captive are shown, she did not stop the tortures, but instead of her colleagues, she recognizes the violence that happens, and has negative emotions towards it. In comparison with the other characters in the movie, she is more motivated and “it is not just business” for her, and this operation is a sense of her life. First, it is because her friends were killed during attacks, and, secondly, because she was attempted to a murder. During the movie, she was the one who encourages all her team to find new ways of problem solving and not to give up. The end of the movie is extremely symbolic. Maya sits in the plane where there are no other people. The pilot tells her that maybe she is a significant person, because she is the only one who will be on the plane. When he asks her where they should go, she starts to cry. In this scene, it is possible to see all the tragedy of her life. She did not have a life outside this operation; she was isolated from the world. As a result, she even did not know where she was supposed to go then. Moreover, Maya understands what efforts were made and what price was paid in order to achieve her goal.
In conclusion, Zero Dark Thirty is an extremely significant movie for the American society, where such issues as 11/9 and Osama Bin Laden capture are highlighted. The main character of this movie is Maya, and she is the central figure in this operation, her efforts help to eventually achieve the main objectives. The main objective of the movie is to show events which occurred after 11/9 and hunting of al-Qaeda leader. In this movie, the director is ready to allocate both parties of the conflict, the USA and the East. The violence is one of the most important questions in the movie. The first scene shows the tortures of the prisoner where it is possible to see how cruel these tortures are. The movie is full of cruel scenes; however, the director shows them carefully, and, therefore, these scenes are not shown in an aggressive way, but they only reflect reality. Violence scenes are “covered by darkness” as they are shown in green light and reflect the events occurring during the night.