I said yes without even knowing what it was, and when she told me it was something about the U.S. in Afghanistan, I immediately suspected it would be another lefty, anti-American propaganda film. I was very pleasantly surprised - not only to find that it wasn't but also to find that neither did it have any discernible right-wing slant to it: the film-makers seem to have decided to make a properly realistic film, i.e. trying to present the story of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden without trying to Chomsky the audience.
And I think that, in addition to that plus point, it was a good film. The climatic scene dipicting the attack on the house in Abottabad was excellent - it showed a very good understanding of the sublime because in addition to the stealthed-up whirlybirds hugging the mountain terrain in night flight and the background music swells, the preceding sections of the film had left so much weight of judgement up to the viewer. And this was the build-up scene to the execution of judgement, and of course the literal execution of Osama bin Laden.
The early scenes in the film showing the CIA's torture methods (water-torture, and squashing the detainee into a cramped box etc...) were presented without approval, condemnation, or apology. They were just there and it was left up to the viewer to make up his or her own mind. In my case I already knew my own mind on the issue.
Yet now I read (courtesy of M.J. Totten at City Journal), that "activists" in the U.S. are kicking up a fuss because, as Totten puts it:
"Bigelow’s critics didn’t want art, nor were they interested in a journalistic account. They wanted a cinematic op-ed piece and didn’t get it."Assholes.
They remind me of certain people who will not debate, who will not try to argue and demonstrate right or wrong, but who are only interested in shutting up people who disagree with them either through ostricization or outright bullshit.