Zero Dark Thirty Analysis

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It is opening weekend for Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and the theatre is packed—excited murmurs can be heard. The lights finally dim and “The following motion picture is based on first hand accounts of actual events,” is splayed across the black screen in bright white letters. Voice recordings from phone calls begin to play. “I can’t breathe,” croaks a distraught woman. An emergency operator tells her to stay calm, “help is on the way.” Screams flood the theatre speakers and the screen turns white. The entire theatre falls silent. Zero Dark Thirty’s, first scene is an audibly disturbing recount of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2011. This scene paints the tense and thrilling mood apparent during the rest of film. Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is an American political thriller. The film follows a dramatized version of the search for Osama Bin Laden by American intelligence and military operatives. Although the film has…show more content…
Hence, the demonization of the Orient as "degenerate, uncivilized and retarded" parallels Oriental discourse and perpetuates Islamophobic sentiments. In summation, Zero Dark Thirty may be interpreted as a very problematic film due to its parallels with Orientalist discourse. The film’s inaccuracies and stereotypical representations of Muslim peoples culminate to demonize Islam, and “turn Islam into the very epitome of an outsider against” European civilization. Ordinary viewers may have a dominant reading of this film, however, from a religious studies student’s perspective, it is much more indicative of American ignorance than it is of genuine Islamic
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