9/11 families denounce criticism of torture in Zero Dark Thirty

Group issues statement criticising the advocation of 'censorship' of torture scenes

A group representing the families of victims of 9/11 has denounced criticism of the torture scenes in Kathryn Bigelow's controversial 'Zero Dark Thirty'.

9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims issued a statement of support for the film, and criticised politicians, actors and pundits for a perceived support of censorship of the facts.

[Related story: Bigelow has 'no regrets' over Zero Dark Thirty torture scene]

Zero Dark Thirty... 9/11 familes group comes out in support (Copyright: Columbia)

“As a group of 9/11 families sharing a rare moment of justice and elation in the viewing of a film chronicling the search for and ultimate death of Osama Bin Laden, we find it deeply disturbing that some of our elected officials want to discourage other 9/11 families and the public from seeing this outstanding film,” read the statement.

“We are greatly concerned that a few pundits, 'film critics' and elected officials are badmouthing this movie because of the water boarding scenes and because this film directly confronts the enduring terrorist threat.

“We feel this is history - like it or not - and no effort should be made to rewrite or censor it for political correctness. Certainly there should be no organized boycott or suppression of films based on political differences. The word for that is 'censorship'.

“As 9/11 family members whose loved ones were massacred at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, we applaud Mark Boal and Katherine Bigelow for presenting a film that honors history, our military, our country, and the victims of 9/11.

“Our loved ones died for these freedoms on 9/11 - and no one should ever try to abridge them. All citizens should see this film and make their own decisions about its value. This is what democracy is about.”

The likes of former presidential candidate John McCain have been critical of the film, saying it is factually inaccurate.

McCain is among a group asking for documents from the filmmakers to clarify why Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal included torture scenes in the film, believing them to have been misled by the CIA over how they obtained information leading to the discovery of Osama bin Laden.

Meanwhile, actors including David Clennon, Ed Asner and Martin Sheen have spoken out over the film's 'encouragement of the tolerance of torture'.

Clennon, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, asked other members not to vote for the film in the forthcoming Oscars. Sheen has since distanced himself from the campaign, saying his support was a misunderstanding.