The row around the depiction of torture scenes in 'Zero Dark Thirty' has escalated to the point where the acting director of the CIA has taken the unusual step of commnenting on a movie, stating that the impression it gives is "false".
The controversy centres on a scene in the movie, about the death of Osama bin Laden, in which information is gained from a detainee via waterboarding that leads to the discovery of the whereabouts of the infamous terrorist.
Three US senators had signed a letter to the film makers (Sony Pictures) behind 'Zero Dark Thirty', including John McCain, who told CNN: “You believe when watching this movie that waterboarding and torture leads to information that leads then to the elimination of Osama bin Laden. That’s not the case.”
In a letter addressed to employees and posted on the CIA's website, acting director Mark Morrell wrote: "The film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Laden. That impression is false. As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well."
This would appear to confirm that the scene in Kathryn Bigelow's film is false, inflaming the controversy around the film, considered a major Oscar contender.
Now, with members of the US government queueing up to denounce it, those hopes would appear to be damaged, along with lead actress Jessica Chastain's.