Zero Dark Thirty

By Lorraine Viade, Psy.D.

Zero Dark Thirty is a recount of the series of events leading up to the location and killing of Osama Bin Laden. The film is effective in depicting how the military eventually carried out their mission. As a “we finally got him” film that was clearly meant to honor those men and women who put their lives on the line for years in order to accomplish the task of taking out the world’s most infamous terrorist, Zero Dark Thirty hits the target.  However, there are still lots of unanswered questions and room for speculation. Ultimately, victory is a bittersweet event when you consider the lives lost from 9/11 and beyond. 

The water boarding scenes are intense and disturbing, but no less disturbing than the infamous videos of Americans beheaded by terrorists who showed no mercy to innocent civilians. War is ugly no matter what side you are on. War will always be merciless and in that, it is the greatest test of our collective humanity.

How we act and react in crisis and in conflict determine how we function as a society, but when we are battling terror is there a clear moral compass? What constitutes winning? Our leaders make tough choices. Our military carry them out. 

I have lived long enough to hear war stores from WWII through our current involvement in Afghanistan and all I am certain of is that there is nothing that prepares anyone for the terror of battle. Our veterans deserve our support and respect for doing what most of us will never have to—or so I continue to hope.  Why we fight is often more interesting than who we fight. 

America is still a great nation regardless of who chooses to launch an attack upon us. As a people, we are brave and wonderful, but we are not without our war wounds. Zero Dark Thirty reminds us of the service that enlisted men and women perform not just in special circumstances, but in the day to day duty and commitment that they have made to the United States. Let us never forget the sacrifices made daily so that we can carry out our lives. Zero Dark Thirty is one of the nominees for best picture this year. With so many different and amazing films, it is hard to know who will win the Oscar battle. This one just might.

I give Zero Dark Thirty five couches.