Kathryn Bigelow on 'ZDT' Torture

The Oscar winning director says not including torture scenes would be whitewashing history
9:07 | 01/11/13

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Transcript for Kathryn Bigelow on 'ZDT' Torture
Third floor northeast corner. Don't think so we don't for the -- of Washington says she's -- kill. Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and this is popcorn we we tell you what's going on at the movies and I think there's no more exciting -- going on. -- zero dark thirty which Jesse scene for. And we are lucky enough to have the director. Zero -- thirty Kathryn Bigelow with us today. He's all -- and triumphs again. I I think this game -- I only see you when you're collecting awards. -- now. It's exciting as your Oscar captain did you bring with him I didn't I -- yeah. What does it go any new I have to get rid this -- because. You -- the last time I saw you didn't win the Oscar yet you didn't become the first and only one. To win an Academy Award for directing after 278. Years of movies and -- the history Europe -- the -- So where where is where had he -- Well. First thought it was such history and surprising. And shocking and humbling experience. I placed it on on a table in the living room you know was sort of interest -- had been there forever this this particular piece of furniture in search of the purpose and I -- now has won her. So win in this process after Hurt Locker -- -- reasons this does the germ of the idea were zero dark thirty. Well right after we finished Hurt Locker room we were inches making a movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden and then of course it was just felt that he was still at large and some more on the planet. So you would mark -- thought it was still a good idea to do a movie about a hunt where we don't have. And in. Well in away. There was an ending on this piece at a very interesting kind of very enigmatic one but. That I won't spoil because who knows if we ever -- tackle it spoke at a prequel. Get this out but but the thing that was interesting was. You know I suppose. It's -- -- -- 9/11 was extremely. Tragic very impact and this was that you know this this the Specter of this individual still out there and -- about two thirds of the way through the screen play when. -- -- -- -- was killed. And so then suddenly it was like you know this moment where. You know is that either just a last act grafted -- -- the two thirds of the story before or is -- is that hunt. The intelligence gathering for this. Compound to the bottom line is that the movie itself and that became the -- -- -- Zero dark thirty -- of dexterity witches witches a military term for 1239 like they would tape perhaps. Twelve. -- -- -- -- And meaning like the precursor to 100 you know -- but we can take that even further in terms of the darkness the subject and -- the darkest of the subject and also. You know I certainly think you could characterize this decade with respect to -- The the hunt for some of -- -- -- and what precipitated it with 9/11 is a very dark long. Decade and so that sort of how resonates for me as a title and and a difference when did. The Jessica -- character of -- not the real name the -- that's in the movie but what went did you decide to make. This one. The center of this and -- -- was about I'd say a couple months into his research and I remember he was in DC. And and called me and said you know there's. There are. Women at the center of this operation. And there's one that's particularly significant. And and then we both kind of arrived at the idea that might be very seemed to center the story around -- and and since she was. Really pretty pivotal. But that's not to say that there weren't a lot of people that were pivotal -- -- it was Allard we see the movie shows us a lot of -- and out yes exactly. But but there was you know there -- these very. Tenacious individuals. Who. Kept you know at a particular lead that was at times somewhat unpopular. But nonetheless just drove. Idea forward. And and obviously as it turned out to -- you know a rather good bet that. But it was a lot of elements that got -- -- that house and in the bottom I mean there's obviously as the film shows. Some enhanced interrogation. Interrogation techniques at the beginning you have some politicians saying. Know you've made a movie that basically condones torture. Whether we caught enhancement there Asian I don't know what you know it's torture -- -- -- that we're seeing it and yet. Have none of those people actually seen the movie that you made in terms of where this is. Well hang on in have great respect for of those people and and obviously their criticism is is. You know is is is. I I take very seriously. Certainly based on a research. That's part of the story and to have eliminated it -- would have meant we would've been. Whitewashing that story so. That's part of the story as our research showed it was also not. The most significant part nor was a pivotal pivotal. Could we have found we could you know. The investigators have found that compound in Nevada but without it no one will know I -- or perhaps that'll be debated for quite a long time. As a filmmaker I think. If this is. Obviously something that's a controversial issue. Which it is. A healthy debate. I think is helpful. You know and so that the film has stimulated the debate conversation about something that's very. Important. And -- you know elements that were done in the name of finding bin Laden then I think it's a real testament to the power of the media. Does that leave you frustrated. When you hear that kind of thing do you say. Why don't they understand why don't they -- who can you just compartmentalized and and put it out of your -- complete. Well I think have to. I suppose you have to compartmentalized. To certain extent on the other hand. I -- saying that the voice of the critic either positive. -- critical. Is important to inform you as an artist and help you grow as an artist you know I think it's a relationship that's of a wonderful kind of sacred mysterious. Relationship that happens between artists and the critics and I think that it's it's from. Really really valuable. Yet but you get to be in that special category where you not only get the critics to do it but -- get politicians turned critic. Did -- -- -- -- you're lucky you have a whole other degree of people coming out and doing this. Which is I don't know how enough -- -- -- But I wouldn't call like you don't -- none of the best you can become somebody's agenda that's on me and that's what I mean by. Is there any hurtful person when you feel that what you've done is well -- sure I mean you feel. The certainly I think -- -- feel that the film's been mischaracterized. And misunderstood and I think. Not by everybody because there are those people who see it exactly the way it was intended so. But that's the nature of I guess. I suppose -- a piece of art put out there for discourse and you know you kind of have to let go and allow it to have. A life you know of its own and -- -- when you can if you can but. But it's a very spirited discourse that it seems to be. And -- In the story through their eyes and especially for the character of mind and you you know you. Venturaland -- can become. -- meeting here on her arrived here on her journey and her obsession and her determination.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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