"Zero Dark Thirty" filmmakers became subjects of the probe after politicians objected to its portrayal of torture by CIA officers
The Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into "Zero Dark Thirty" filmmakers' contacts with the Central Intelligence Agency during its production apparently has been closed.
Senate investigators, who had gathered information from director Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal, pictured below, and CIA officials, will take no further action, a congressional aide who requested anonymity told Reuters on Monday.
The Senate committee launched its inquiry into the film, a dramatization of how the U.S. government located and killed Osama bin Laden, after its chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein D-Calif., expressed outrage over scenes that implied that "enhanced interrogations" of CIA detainees produced an breakthrough that helped lead to the al Qaeda leader.
Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produced the Best Picture Oscar nominee, had no immediate comment.
In December, as "Zero Dark Thirty" was about to premiere nationwide, Feinstein joined fellow Democrat Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Republican Senator John McCain in condemning "particularly graphic scenes of CIA officers torturing detainees" in the film.
A source familiar with contacts between the filmmakers and intelligence officials told Reuters that the CIA did not tell the filmmakers "enhanced interrogations" led to bin Laden. Instead, the agency helped develop characters in the film, said the source.
The political fallout prompted Bigelow to write a piece in the Los Angeles Times saying: "Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement. If it was, no artist would be able to paint inhumane practices, no author could write about them, and no filmmaker could delve into the thorny subjects of our time."
The attacks by Washington politicians were seen as damaging to its prospects at the Academy Awards. "Zero Dark Thirty" lost out to another fact-based film on the U.S. in the Mideast, "Argo," for Best Picture. And in what many in what industry observers considered a snub, Bigelow did not receive a best director nomination from the Academy.