Tag Archives: Jessica Chastain

Zero Dark Thirty – Exposing the CIA’s Inner Secrets – a Film Review by Rob Simone

Zero Dark Thirty – Exposing the CIA’s inner Secrets – a Film Review by Rob Simone

I recently saw a screening of Kathryn Bigelow’s new film Zero Dark 30,
it chronicles the CIA’s efforts to track down Osama bin Laden in the wake of the 9/11 tragedies.

The movie starts with an audio montage of the emergency calls from 9/11. The screen is black and only the audio is heard. I think Catherine Bigelow did this because she did not want people to see the same news footage that we have been watching over the course of the decade. I think she wanted people to internalize 9/11 and relate to it in their own way.


From that point on we see we the painstaking efforts of the CIA through torture, bribery and high-tech surveillance to track down Osama bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmad al Kuwaiti.
While the events leading up to and carrying out the assassination of Osama bin Laden are known, the behind the scenes political espionage and tactical operation of the mission is not.

The film shows in great detail the torturing of many Al Qaeda suspects. Including water boarding, sleep deprivation and much more. The Central Intelligence Agency objected to the film, stating that there are many inaccuracies. But it seems to me, that is something they would have to do, because if they left this film unchallenged, it would be a quiet acknowledgment of the films accuracy.

I think what the CIA most objects to is how accurately they used psychology as a weapon.

This has been something that is a cornerstone of the CIA…using assets, gathering information and manipulating people all over the world to suit their immediate and long-term needs.

At one point the Young CIA agent responsible for tracking down bin Laden, known only as Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, is sitting across the table from Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense. Mr. Panetta asked her if she knew why she was recruited to the CIA right out of high school. Maya replied “I don’t think I’m allowed to say…” This is a strange answer considering the director would’ve had a much higher clearance than she would.

What could be the possible reasons that she would be unable to disclose the reasons why she was recruited at such a young age? (or why the film could not)

It could be that she came from the CIA family, whose brothers or parents worked in sensitive positions. It could also be alluding to some far-reaching CIA program that has its tentacles woven within the academic system all across United States. This system could be tracking identifying traits and characteristics of adolescents and teenagers that suit particular positions within the agency.

The objections of the CIA to the film’s detailed depiction of their torture techniques and eavesdropping technology could be because it was too accurate.

A DVD quality copy is already on the Internet, on free streaming and downloading websites. This could have been done by the agency as a penalty measure for their disapproval of the film’s accuracy…?

All in all this film shows that foreign diplomacy, defense, intelligence gathering is a messy dirty murderous job and people don’t like to think of that reality. Everyone likes sausages they just don’t like to see how it’s made, and in this case the sausage is America’s continued dominance, surveillance, agenda of our foreign economic and strategic interests and the quote “war on terror.”
Continue reading