Portrayal of C.I.A. torture in bin Laden film reopens debate





WASHINGTON — Even before its official release, “Zero Dark Thirty,” the new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, has become a national Rorschach test on the divisive subject of torture.

The film’s unflinching portrayal of the Central Intelligence Agency’s brutal interrogation of Al Qaeda prisoners hews close to the official record, offering a gruesome sampling of methods like the near-drowning of waterboarding.

What has already divided the critics, journalists and activists who have watched early screenings is a more subtle issue: the suggestion that the calculated infliction of pain and fear, graphically shown in the first 45 minutes of the film, may have produced useful early clues in the quest to find the terrorist leader, who was killed in May 2011....




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