Bigelow's Osama film faces flak from US Senators

Zero dark thirty film

Just days into release, a new Osama bin Laden manhunt movie, billed to be in contention for Oscars, is facing flak with three top US Senators slamming it for suggesting the torture may have led the trail to al-Qaeda chief.

Three Senators, including former White House hopeful John McCain, have described the movie as "grossly inaccurate and misleading".

In a letter to the distributor of the film -- "Zero Dark Thirty" -- Sony Pictures, the Senators who also include Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, the Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman, have joined issue with the Sony Pictures head Michael Lynton and the Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow.

"The film graphically depicts CIA officers repeatedly torturing detainees and then credits these detainees with providing critical lead information on the courier that led to bin Laden," the Senators said.

"Zero Dark Thirty is factually inaccurate, and we believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is not based on the facts, but rather part of the film's fictional narrative," the Senators wrote in the letter.

"We write to express our deep disappointment with the movie Zero Dark Thirty. We believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of Osama bin Laden," they said.

The film released in the North American circuit on Wednesday gives a graphic account of an almost decade-long hunt for the world's most wanted terrorist after September 11, 2001 attacks, climaxing in May 2011 dramatic raid on bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad in Pakistan.

"We understand that the film is fiction, but it opens with the words 'based on first-hand accounts of actual events' and there has been significant media coverage of CIA's cooperation with the screenwriters."

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