I assume Michael Moore has credibility on this subject as both a proven progressive but also an acclaimed political filmmaker.
He has just written on Zero Dark Thirty on Huffington Post, and has written a full-throated defense of the film and destroyed the arguments against it.
I am not copying the lengthy takedown he does on the idea that the film suggests that torture is useful or ever appropriate. He does so because he, unlike so many people, appreciate what a narrative artist's responsibilities are within the context of an entire film. For that go to the link.
But some other highlights:
After a lengthy description of what happens in the narrative, and referring to the controversy, he writes:
And that really should be the main takeaway from Zero Dark Thirty: That good detective work can bring fruitful results -- and that torture is wrong.He points out the obvious (from an industry standpoint) that much of the resistance to the film from liberal male Hollywood is that it is such a strong feminist work.
Oh -- and girl. 'Zero Dark Thirty -- a movie made by a woman (Kathryn Bigelow), produced by a woman (Megan Ellison), distributed by a woman (Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures), and starring a woman (Jessica Chastain) is really about how an agency of mostly men are dismissive of a woman who is on the right path to finding bin Laden. Yes, guys, this is a movie about how we don't listen to women, how hard it is for them to have their voice heard even in these enlightened times. You could say this is a 21st century chick flick -- and it would do you well to see it.He sums up his feeling as follows:
Zero Dark Thirty is a disturbing, fantastically-made movie. It will make you hate torture. And it will make you happy you voted for a man who stopped all that barbarity -- and who asked that the people over at Langley, like him, use their brains.And then adds the crucial point that if some people misunderstand the film for their own pro-torture purposes, then Bigelow is no more responsible than is Bruce Springsteen for the Republicans wanting to use "Born in the USA" as jingoistic background.