Petra Musketeers
Zero Dark Thirty
2012
Kathryn Bigelow

Zero Dark Thirty is a 2012 American action thriller war film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal. Billed as "the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man", the film dramatizes the decade-long manhunt for al Qaedaleader Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. This search eventually leads to the discovery of his compound in Pakistan, and the military raid on it that resulted in his death on May 2, 2011.

The film stars Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Édgar Ramírez and James Gandolfini. It was produced by Boal, Bigelow, and Megan Ellison, and was independently financed by Ellison's Annapurna Pictures. The film had its premiere in Los Angeles, California on December 19, 2012 and had its wide release on January 11, 2013.

Zero Dark Thirty received wide critical acclaim, and was nominated for five Academy Awards at the 85th Academy Awards, includingBest Picture, Best Actress (Chastain), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing, and won the award for Best Sound Editing.Zero Dark Thirty earned four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, with Jessica Chastain winning the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

The film's depiction of enhanced interrogation generated controversy, with some critics describing it as pro-torture propaganda, as the interrogations are shown producing reliably useful and accurate information. "... the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques ... were the key to finding bin Laden. That impression is false." said Michael Morell, acting C.I.A. director. Other critics described it as an anti-torture exposure of interrogation practices.

Republican Congressman Peter T. King charged that the filmmakers were given improper access to classified materials, which they denied. An unreleased draft IG report published by the Project on Government Oversight in June 2013 stated that former C.I.A. Director Leon Panetta discussed classified information during an awards ceremony for the SEAL team that carried out the raid on the bin Laden compound. Unbeknownst to Panetta, screenwriter Mark Boal was among the 1300 present during the ceremony.

 

Plot

Maya Lambert, a young U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003, has spent her entire brief career since graduating from high school focused solely on gathering intelligence related to Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, following the terrorist organization's September 11 attacks in the United States. She has just been reassigned to theU.S. embassy in Pakistan to work with a fellow officer, Dan. During the first months of her assignment, Maya often accompanies Dan to a black site for his continuing interrogation of Ammar al-Baluchi, a detainee with suspected links to several of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks. Dan subjects the detainee to torture, including waterboarding, andhumiliation. He and Maya eventually trick Ammar into divulging that an old acquaintance, who is using the alias Abu Ahmed, is working as a personal courier for bin Laden. Other detainees corroborate this, with some claiming Abu Ahmed delivers messages between bin Laden and a man referred to as Abu Faraj. In 2005, Abu Faraj is apprehended by the C.I.A. and local police in Pakistan. Maya interrogates Abu Faraj under torture, but he continues to deny knowing a courier with such a name. Maya interprets this as an attempt by Abu Faraj to conceal the importance of Abu Ahmed.

Maya continues to sift through masses of data and information, using a variety of technology, hunches and sharing insights. She concentrates on finding Abu Ahmed, determined to use him to find bin Laden. During a span of five years, she survives the 2008 Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing as well as being shot at in her car by armed men. Dan, departing on reassignment, warns Maya about a possible change in politics, suggesting that the new administration may prosecute those officers who had been involved in torture. Maya's fellow officer and friend Jessica is killed in the 2009 Camp Chapman attack. A Jordanian detainee claims the man previously identified from a photograph as Abu Ahmed is a man he personally buried in 2001. Several C.I.A. officers – Maya's seniors – conclude the target who could be Abu Ahmed is long dead, and that they have searched a false trail for nine years.

A fellow analyst researching Moroccan intelligence archives comes to Maya and suggests that Abu Ahmed is Ibrahim Sayeed. Maya agrees and contacts Dan, who is working at the C.I.A. headquarters. Maya has found that Ibrahim Sayeed had a brother, Habib, and theorizes the C.I.A.'s supposed photograph of Abu Ahmed was of Habib, as he was said to bear a striking resemblance to Ibrahim and was killed in Afghanistan. Dan uses C.I.A. funds to purchase a Lamborghini for a Kuwaiti prince in exchange for the telephone number of Sayeed's mother. The C.I.A. traces calls to the mother. One caller's persistent use of tradecraft to avoid detection leads Maya to conclude the caller is Abu Ahmed. At Maya's behest and with the support of her supervisors, numerous C.I.A. operatives are deployed to search for and identify Abu Ahmed. They locate him in his vehicle and eventually track him to a large urban compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, near the Pakistan Military Academy.

The C.I.A. puts the compound under heavy surveillance for several months, using a variety of methods. Although they are confident from circumstantial evidence that bin Laden is there, they cannot prove this photographically. Meanwhile, the President's National Security Advisor tasks the C.I.A. with producing a plan to capture or kill bin Laden if it can be confirmed that he is in the compound. An agency team devises a plan to use two top-secret stealth helicopters (developed at Area 51) flown by the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment to secretly enter Pakistan and insert members of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group to raid the compound. Before briefing President Barack Obama, the C.I.A. Director holds a meeting of his top officials, who assess only a 60–80% chance that bin Laden rather than another high-value target is living in the compound. Maya, also in attendance, states the chances are 100%.

The raid is approved and is executed on May 2, 2011. Although execution is complicated by one of the helicopters crashing, the SEALs gain entry and kill a number of people within the compound, among them a man on the compound's top floor who is revealed to be bin Laden. They bring bin Laden's body back to a U.S. base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where Maya visually confirms the identity of the corpse. Maya is last seen boarding a military transport to return to the U.S. and sitting in its vast interior as its only passenger. The pilot asks her where she wants to go but she does not reply. He leaves for the cockpit and she weeps.


Source : Wikipedia website
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