By Isaac Butler
Jane Mayer, who has forgotten more about the Bush torture regime than most of us will ever know, has a lengthy piece on Zero Dark Thrity, which she believes is pro-torture,, or at the very least, failing its moral duty by not condemning torture. Unlike Glenn Greenwald, she's actually seen the film.
I have to say, I find this whole debate very challenging to my own thoughts and convictions about politics and art. It seems to be asking for a simpler, less rich world to demand that art that covers a particular subject take a particular stand on that subject. Yet is torture so odious that it deserves to be exempt from that? Does portraying torture without explicit (or maybe even implicit) condemnation mean a work of art has failed its duty in some way? I'd like to say no. But I wonder if in this case, with a work of art whose creators advertise it as being quasi-journalistic, the contract with society has changed. And yet, I can't fully bring myself to believe that.