Protest Torture & Zero Dark Thirty

"Zero never acknowledges that torture is immoral and criminal. It does portray torture as getting results."

-David Clennon

Click here to download flyer to take to your local movie theater in protest.

Click here for series of posters of Guantanamo prisoners cleared for release yet still unjustly held.

Here are some of the articles and opinion pieces outlining why people of conscience must take a stand against the justification and use of torture:

Michael Moore’s Repellent Defense of “Zero Dark Thirty
by Dave Clennon

Instead of being indicted, these torturers are presented as heroes, as brave and dedicated “detectives.”  No one gives Maya or Dan the kind of scolding, which you envision Obama giving, off-screen.  Chastain’s Maya, is presented as especially admirable, a feminist action hero.  She not only gets her man; she also muscles CIA male chauvinists out of the way, as she pushes ahead on “The Greatest Manhunt in History.”  And we’re supposed to empathize and cheer her on.

On Zero Dark Thirty
by James Spione

That a movie which at its core is essentially a revenge flick—evil guy kills innocents, heroine stops at nothing to kill evil guy—is even being compared to journalism by its makers or anyone else says more about the sorry state of journalism today than it does about the film.

The Zero Dark Thirty Controversy
by Ramzi Kassem

Torture in Zero Dark Thirty protested"The controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty has been as misguided as the film itself, which opened nationwide on Friday. Much of the debate has centered on whether The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow's latest opus leaves viewers with the false impression that torture led to the killing of Usama bin Laden. That both the means employed and the ends achieved in that equation are illegal and repugnant seems all but forgotten. Both torture and extrajudicial executions are anathema to civilized society, irrespective of their possible efficacy or expediency. More importantly, both the film and the controversy it has ignited treat torture at secret CIA prisons as though it were a thing of the past, masking the reality of an enduring practice."

Zero Dark Thirty and Truthiness
by Dennis Loo

"Bigelow, Boal, and Sony thus have portrayed the criticism of their film as censorship and wrapped themselves in the flag of free expression. But the opposition their film has sparked is not about censorship at all and their characterizing their critics as censorious is dishonest. People who oppose torture want torture to be shown to the American people. The fine 2007 film Rendition, for example, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon, showed torture and was appreciated by those of us who admire well-made films and oppose torture’s immorality and illegality."

Colbert Takes On 'Zero Dark Thirty' Torture Controversy (VIDEO)

And the Academy Award for the Promotion of Torture Goes to…
by David Clennon

"Those who are protesting the easy tolerance of torture in Zero Dark Thirty have been dismissed by some commentators as having a political agenda. The problem of torture is not political. It's moral. And it's criminal.

I'm a member of Hollywood's Motion Picture Academy. At the risk of being expelled for disclosing my intentions, I will not be voting for Zero Dark Thirty - in any Academy Awards category."

Zero Dark Thirty: Turning the Spotlight on US Use of Torture
by Ralph E. Stone

"Extraordinary renditions apparently continue to this day.  These are secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to other countries where torture is used. Torture is torture whether it is done by Americans at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, or by proxy through our rendition program."

Martin Sheen, Ed Asner Join 'Zero Dark Thirty' Protest

Zero Dark Thirty



Above, protesting at the opening of Zero Dark Thirty in NYC December 19, 2013

Dark, Zero-Feminism
by Zillah Eisenstein

"...the real problem with ZDT is that it lets the audience and the American public think that terrible things are allowable because they are doable.   A courageous telling of the U.S. anti-terror narrative would demand critique and defiance."

A letter to Kathryn Bigelow on Zero Dark Thirty's apology for torture
by Naomi Wolf

"By peddling the lie that CIA detentions led to Bin Laden's killing, you have become a Leni Riefenstahl-like propagandist of torture"

a critical choice
by Curt Wechsler

"The public "controversy" whipped up by release of the new torture movie Zero Dark Thirty is actually a re-hash of an argument that had largely been put to bed, that torture works to extract reliable intelligence from suspected terrorists (and even if it did, would that make the practice morally acceptable?) But torture IS effective in getting subjects to say what you want them to say, to fabricate rationale for government venture, such as the ultimate war crime of aggression on sovereign nations that pose no imminent threat."

Listen to Debra Sweet discuss the film on Flashpoints, KPFA (at 42:00 into the show).

Zero Dark Thirty: the Veneration of Torture and the C.I.A.
by Glenn Greenwald

Zero Conscience in “Zero Dark Thirty”
by Jane Mayer

Zero Dark Thirty: Torturing the Facts
by Marjorie Cohn

Torture is Wrong
by Debra Sweet

Torture, Torture Everywhere
by Andy Worthington

Zero Dark Thirty's Wrong and Dangerous Conclusion
by Alex Gibney

Who will join me in protesting CIA's view of the world?
by Debra Sweet



NRCAT page on Zero Dark Thirty includes this 20 minute video on torture and indefinite detention:

Also see:

Protests Against the Eleventh Anniversary of Guantanamo

ZERO DARK THIRTY - Movie Justification of Torture Protested Yesterday

Main Torture Protest Torture & Zero Dark Thirty


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.