Pakistan films

Ah, nuts! Pakistan won’t screen ZERO DARK THIRTY | OPINION

Last Updated: March 3, 2014By Tags: , , ,

There won’t be any showings of “Zero Dark Thirty” for Pakistan’s audiences. That country’s government and the film industry has censored Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film in order not create too much of a hoopla around the fact that the U.S. successfully took out the world’s most dangerous terrorist and leader of Al Qaeda on May 2, 2011.

Despite the controversy over the perspective given by the film that torture is a justifiable means to an end, “Zero Dark Thirty” earned its generous share of nods here and in Europe (well, it’s a good movie). And yet, the action flick which stars Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton has left a bitter taste in the mouths of Pakistanis, whose army was humiliated in the American raid and who have been suspected of complicity through their harboring al-Qaeda’s leader (to say nothing of his various lieutenants) at his Abbottabad compound for five years.

Guess the U.S.-Pakistan relationship isn’t near reaching its full potential.

Pakistan, second only behind Iran for its virulent anti-American sentiment (except that Iranians make good movies), has denounced the film as being masterminded by the American powers-that-be and claimed that bin Laden was not in the country.

Right, just go right out and say it, the Abbottabad raid was an plot mounted by A.I.P.A.C.

What’s strange here is that film distributors in that country censored themselves before Pakistan’s powerful censorship machine could even get to them. And that’s a doggone shame on those distributors for not working for cinema.

“We did not buy ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and no one else did, either,” said Mohsin Yaseen, who represents film distributor Cinepax, raising the point that ‘Zero’ is too pro-American. “Several scenes in the film tend to show us in a humiliating way,” he added, “it’s therefore not in the nation’s best interest to show it here.”

Strange. Moreover, I’m guessing a Pakistani distributor does not know a good payday when he sees one.

Sounds to me like Mr. Yasseen has his job of distributor confused with something else. Perhaps he ought to hand his post over to someone who will represent cinema little better (you’ve not earned any points in our book, Sir.).

READ Craig Younking’s four-star review of “Zero Dark Thirty.”