“Zero Dark Thirty” fails to impress at 85th Academy Awards

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One day after “Zero Dark Thirty” failed to win a major award at the Oscars, a congressional aide said on Monday the Senate Intelligence Committee has closed its inquiry into the filmmakers’ contacts with the Central Intelligence Agency.

The intelligence committee gathered more information from the CIA and will not take further action, according to the aide, who requested anonymity.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, who distributed the film in the United States, had no immediate comment.

Attacks by Washington politicians may have damaged its prospects at the 85th Academy Awards on Sunday night.

“Zero Dark Thirty” was nominated for the Best Picture award, which went to Ben Affleck’s film “Argo”.

The Senate committee launched its review of the film, which is a dramatization of how the U.S. government located and killed Osama bin Laden, Senator Dianne Feinstein the chairwoman of the committee, expressed outrage over scenes that implied that “enhanced interrogations” of CIA detainees produced a breakthrough that helped lead to the al Qaeda leader.

The Oscar nominated film “Zero Dark Thirty” premiered worldwide in December, Feinstein joined fellow Democrat Carl Levin the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Republican Senator John McCain in condemning the “particularly graphic scenes of CIA officers torturing detainees” in the film.

A source familiar with contacts between the filmmakers and intelligence officials said that the CIA did not tell the filmmakers “enhanced interrogations” led them to bin Laden. Instead, the agency helped develop characters in the film.

The political fallout prompted Bigelow to write in an op-ed piece: “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 government cooperated as much, if not more, on “Argo,” the film about the 1979-81 hostage crisis in Iran that won the best picture Oscar. Actor-director Ben Affleck and his team were allowed to film scenes in the lobby of the CIA building in Langley, Virginia, the “Zero Dark Thirty” crew did no such filming.

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