Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty ★★★★

I had a dream last night about this movie. I was ushered into a room with Osama bin Laden. I did not feel hatred for him . . . more a sense of wonder. This only served to reinforce how highly conflicted I am about the ongoing war against terrorism - a deep ambivalence which I could not separate from my interaction with this movie.

Was the assassination of bin Laden an act of US heroism, a final victory over the terrorism inflicted on the West on 9/11? It seemed timely that I should watch this movie at a time when Islamic extremists are once again on centre stage with their acts of horrific terrorism. And once again I wonder if the display of US military might is the best means to win what in many ways amounts to a war of ideology. Yes, the Taliban influence may have faded with the death of bin Laden, but only to be replaced by an equally ferocious ISIS. I am angered and saddened by the slaughter of so many innocents, including women and children in Iraq and Syria. But as we are seeing, the retaliation of the West is not without the loss of innocents.

Clearly this movie had an impact on me. Yet I left feeling very little satisfaction that "good" had conquered "evil". And I remain uncertain about the best means to confront the ongoing resistance to Islamic terrorism that remains a blight on this planet.