Kathryn Bigelow on the job of artists & the criticism of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

“Depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices.”

More excerpts from her statement:

Kathryn Bigelow Zero Dark ThirtyFirst of all: I support every American’s 1st Amendment right to create works of art and speak their conscience without government interference or harassment. As a lifelong pacifist, I support all protests against the use of torture, and, quite simply, inhumane treatment of any kind.

But I do wonder if some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these U.S. policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen.

Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no filmmaker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time.

This is an important principle to stand up for, and it bears repeating. For confusing depiction with endorsement is the first step toward chilling any American artist’s ability and right to shine a light on dark deeds, especially when those deeds are cloaked in layers of secrecy and government obfuscation.

Indeed, I’m very proud to be part of a Hollywood community that has made searing war films part of its cinematic tradition. Clearly, none of those films would have been possible if directors from other eras had shied away from depicting the harsh realities of combat.

Read more in Kathryn Bigelow addresses ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ torture criticism, By Kathryn Bigelow, Los Angeles Times, January 15, 2013.

Related post: Kathryn Bigelow: Not a female filmmaker, but a filmmaker, period.


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Originally posted 2013-01-16 19:10:30.


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