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Tag: Politics (21-30 of 64)

'Zero Dark Thirty' torture controversy: 'Everything we did has been misinterpreted,' says writer


Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal directly addressed the ongoing controversy over their film’s treatment of C.I.A enhanced-interrogation techniques in an interview with The Wrap. “Everything we did has been misinterpreted, and continues to be,” Boal said, responding to charges that the film glorifies torture.

“The movie has been, and probably will continue to be, put in political boxes,” said Boal. “Before we even wrote it, it was [branded] an Obama campaign commercial, which was preposterous. And now it’s pro-torture, which is preposterous. We haven’t really talked about that, but I want to start.” READ FULL STORY

'Zero Dark Thirty' premiere: Kathryn Bigelow and co. address waterboarding controversy

Zero Dark Thirty is an Oscar frontrunner, but what would Oscar season be without a dash of politics? In the taut thriller about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow depict the American use of waterboarding leading to a suspect revealing crucial information. But the New Yorker has cast doubt on the veracity of that specific scene, citing government officials who claim that waterboarding — a controversial tactic that many consider torture — played no role in yielding useful evidence in that situation or ultimately helped the C.I.A. locate bin Laden’s hideout.

Boal, a former journalist, has defending the decision, arguing that “it’s a movie, not a documentary,” and the film’s main principals stood behind their work at last night’s Los Angeles premiere. “We had to compress a very complicated debate and a 10-year period into two hours,” Boal said. “It doesn’t surprise me that people bring political agendas to the film but it doesn’t actually have a political agenda. Its agenda is to tell these people’s stories in the most honest and factual way we know how, based on a ton of interviews and research.” READ FULL STORY

Controversy builds over 'Zero Dark Thirty' interrogation scenes

Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt-for-bin Laden movie Zero Dark Thirty (out in select theaters Dec. 19) doesn’t flinch when it comes to depicting various “enhanced interrogation” tactics, including waterboarding and other hard-to-watch techniques. In the film, C.I.A. agents Maya (Jessica Chastain) and Dan (Jason Clarke) engage in extended harsh sessions in order to extract crucial information that eventually leads to Osama bin Laden’s location.

But now some people are questioning the film’s treatment of those scenes. In a column in yesterday’s New York Times, Frank Bruni pointed out that the idea that those sorts of tactics produced crucial information is “hardly a universally accepted version of events,” noting “many experts’ belief that torture is unnecessary, yielding as much bad information as good.” And in this week’s New Yorker, former New York Times war correspondent Dexter Filkins writes that the film “appears to have strayed from real life. According to several official sources, including Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the identity of bin Laden’s courier, whose trail led the C.I.A. to the hideout in Pakistan, was not discovered through waterboarding.” READ FULL STORY

'Friday Night Lights' filmmaker Peter Berg rips Mitt Romney for plagiarism

The author of the book Friday Night Lights is a vocal Mitt Romney fan, and at recent campaign appearances the Republican presidential candidate has been using the inspirational phrase from the TV adaptation: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

But that expression isn’t in the book, and Peter Berg, who directed and co-wrote the screenplay for the 2004 movie, and went on to create the 2006-2011 TV series, has released a scathing letter to Romney, telling him to cut it out.


'Argo' behind-the-scenes clip: Hey, it's President Jimmy Carter!

Movie fanatics and policy wonks alike are buzzing over Ben Affleck’s Argo, the true-life thriller about a special CIA exfiltration mission during the Iran hostage crisis. And the fact that “exfiltration” is a word is just one of the exciting things you’ll learn from a new behind-the-scenes video, which — lest you doubt the veracity of Argo‘s far-out plot — features no less a source than former President Jimmy Carter chatting about the harebrained scheme to rescue a crew of diplomats using a fake movie. The video also features Ben Affleck saying: “My name is Tony Mendez. This is what I do. I get people out. And I’ve never left anyone behind.” You could say he has a very particular set of skills. Skills that he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you. Watch the video: READ FULL STORY

UPDATE: Man behind anti-Islam 'Innocence of Muslims' arrested on investigation of violating probation


The California man behind the anti-Islamic, poorly made video Innocence of Muslims which has fueled massive protests and outrage in the Middle East has been arrested on investigation of violating the terms of his probation, a federal official confirmed to EW on Thursday.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was set to appear in U.S. District Court on Thursday afternoon, said Thom Mrozek, a United States Attorney’s Office spokesman in Los Angeles.

“Mr. Nakoula was arrested pursuant to allegations made by the United States Probation Office that he has violated the terms of his supervised release,” Mrozek said.

Controversy and mystery have swirled around Nakoula, who has been identified as the man behind a 14-minute trailer posted to YouTube for Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a pedophile and womanizer. Nakoula is a Coptic Christian based in Southern California.

Multiple actors and actresses in the low budget film have spoken out against it, including actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who has sued Nakoula, YouTube and its owner Google to get the trailer removed, saying she was duped, and that the original script did not mention Muhammad.


U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Mrozek told EW that the U.S. District Court judge, during Nakoula’s hearing Thursday, had ordered Nakoula detained without bond. “The judge in the case will schedule a hearing to consider the allegations and determine if he violated the terms of his release,” said Mrozek. Nakoula was placed on probation for a bank fraud conviction in 2010. He has since allegedly used various aliases.

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Read more:
Iran will boycott 2013 Oscars due to ‘Innocence of Muslims’
UPDATE: Judge denies ‘Innocence of Muslims’ actress request to have YouTube video removed

UPDATE: Judge denies 'Innocence of Muslims' actress request to have YouTube video removed


A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Thursday denied a request by an actress in the controversial Muhammad-mocking film Innocence of Muslims to have the trailer removed from YouTube, the woman’s attorney told

Judge Luis Lavin rejected California actress Cindy Lee Garcia’s request to remove the offensive trailer because there was “not a sufficient showing of evidence,” citing a federal law called the Communications Decency Act, confirmed Garcia’s lawyer Cris Armenta.

Garcia said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the film’s producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile, YouTube, and its owner Google, that Nakoula had duped her, that there was no mention of Muhammad during filming, and that she had “suffered severe emotional distress, the destruction of her career and reputation, the loss of her family and her livelihood” as a result of the widespread response to the video, including violent protests in the Middle East.

Emails to a YouTube spokesperson seeking comment to Thursday’s court ruling were not immediately returned.

Garcia’s attorney Armenta released an additional statement later Thursday on behalf of Garcia, stating, “By speaking publicly, Ms. Garcia has done the best she can to protect herself from harm. … Ms. Garcia has received numerous credible death threats. Her family and life have been completely disrupted, and she intends to tell the world that she does not condone the manner in which her performance was puppeteered into making it appear that she is a bigot.” Garcia intends to file a motion for a preliminary injunction, and a hearing will be within the next month, depending on the court’s schedule, according to Armenta.

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‘Innocence of Muslims’ actress sues film’s producer, YouTube, Google

'Innocence of Muslims' actress sues film's producer, YouTube, Google


A California actress in the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, which has sparked violent outrage in the Middle East after clips and a trailer were posted online, has sued the film’s controversial producer and YouTube, claiming fraud, slander and overall emotional distress.

Cindy Lee Garcia, who has told multiple outlets that she and her family have received death threats over the film, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday against the movie’s murky producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile, YouTube, its owner Google and 200 unnamed defendants, according to court documents obtained by


Right-wing German group to screen 'Innocence of Muslims'

A far-right German political party says it is going ahead with plans for a screening of the anti-Islam movie Innocence of Muslims in a Muslim neighborhood of Berlin later this year, according to the London Guardian.

A trailer for the movie has sparked violence across the Middle East that is still continuing. “For us, it’s a question of art and freedom of expression,” Manfred Rouhs, the group’s head, told Der Spiegel magazine, The Guardian reports. READ FULL STORY

YouTube unplugged in Pakistan and Bangladesh over 'Innocence of Muslims '

The governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh blocked internet access to YouTube in order to ban access to the Innocence of Muslims, the crude 14-minute anti-Islam video that has outraged many Muslims and sparked outbreaks of deadly violence against Western outposts in the region. According to Bloomberg News, the Pakistani prime minister said in a statement that YouTube had ignored his country’s requests to remove the offending video, and that “blasphemous material would not be tolerated.” Bangladesh’s largest Internet company also confirmed that his country had also blocked the popular video-sharing website.

Google, which owns YouTube, has already taken the video down in Libya and Egypt, where protests against the film first grew violent. In India and Indonesia, Google has already restricted the video to comply with state laws.

In a statement, Google said that the company had “received information from users that they are unable to access YouTube in Pakistan and Bangladesh. We have checked our networks” and found no problems.

Read more:
Salman Rushdie on ‘Innocence of Muslims’
‘Innocence of Muslims’ filmmaker interviewed by authorities
‘Innocence of Muslims’ film: A tangled web of interpretation and religion
‘Innocence of Muslims’ mystery: Who is Sam Bacile?

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