Kathryn Bigelow Defends 'Zero Dark Thirty' on 'Colbert'

Director says movie is based on 'honest telling of the story as we know it'

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Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow addressed criticism about torture scenes in the movie during an interview last night on The Colbert Report, saying that while "torture is reprehensible," so-called enhanced interrogation was part of the search for terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"We wanted to tell the story respectfully and honestly, and since it's part of the history, we had to show a few sequences of enhanced interrogation," Bigelow said. "But again, there's many techniques that led to the compound in Abbottabad" where Navy SEALs killed bin Laden during a raid in May 2011.

The Best Movies of 2012: 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Bigelow and the movie have drawn criticism from a group of U.S. Senators who say the film is "grossly inaccurate and misleading" by suggesting that torture led investigators to the Al Qaeda leader. The director said the movie was based on first-hand accounts of the hunt for bin Laden, amounting to "an honest telling of the story as we know it."

"It's a movie, and it's accurate in the way a movie can be accurate: it's 10 years compressed into two and a half hours and there are many, many tactics utilized," Bigelow said.

Zero Dark Thirty is nominted for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for star Jessica Chastain, who won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her performance.