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Hammerle on ... 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Robert Hammerle
February 13, 2013
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hammerle-temp.jpgDirector Kathryn Bigelow’s excellent saga about the quest to kill Osama bin Laden tells a larger story. Can we honor the dead of 9/11 by copying the moral depravity of their killers?

Rating: Can be seen on any screen. The movie may be 2½ hours long, but it took close to 10 years to pay back a debt.
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“Zero Dark Thirty” deserves all of its praise and criticisms. It is an accomplished, critical study largely seen through the eyes of Maya, played by the marvelous Jessica Chastain, a CIA operative destined to spend nearly a decade in Pakistan/Afghanistan. In the process, we watch as the world’s most powerful country repeatedly bungled its attempts to find its greatest enemy.

To begin with, Ms. Chastain dominates the screen in a role that will challenge Jennifer Lawrence in this year’s Oscar fight. She is flat out remarkable as a dedicated American operative who is hell bent on finding and killing Osama bin Laden. She literally lives and breathes to attain her sole goal, and it readily appears she has no other interests in life.

As I have previously noted in other articles, no other actress today other than Ms. Lawrence rivals Ms. Chastain’s enormous capabilities. Given the fact that she has two films playing, “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Mama,” that dominated box office receipts recently, it is clear that her intellect, passion and beauty place her alone in Hollywood’s cinematic orbit.

However, the sad reality of “Zero Dark Thirty” is found in the opening half hour. Following 9/11, what we observe is the tragic reality of our country throwing away our moral compass. In the panic and anger that followed the destruction of the twin towers, the Bush administration willfully invited the use of torture into the 21st century, and in doing so you almost feel like the wretched bin Laden succeeded in the end.

To their credit, both Ms. Chastain and one of her co-stars, Jason Clarke, don’t run from the repeated use of torture, or as it was called by Vice President Cheney and his cohorts at the time, “enhanced interrogation techniques.”•

To read the complete review of “Zero Dark Thirty,” visit www.bigmouthbobs.com

Robert Hammerle practices criminal law in Indianapolis. When he is not in the courtroom or working diligently in his Pennsylvania Street office, Bob can likely be found at one of his favorite movie theaters watching and preparing to review the latest films.

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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