Washington premiere of Zero Dark Thirty hit by torture protest

The Washington premiere of controversial new film 'Zero Dark Thirty' was targeted by anti-torture protesters yesterday.

Wearing black hoods and orange boiler suits, the protesters brandished banners which read 'cruel inhuman & degrading' in response to scenes in the film, which they believe to lend a favourable angle on 'enhanced interrogation techniques'.

[Related story: CIA boss slams Zero Dark thirty]

Protesters at the premiere yesterday (Credit: twitter/@shanewharris)
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and expected to feature heavily in the Oscar nominations, the film tells the decade-long story of the real-life hunt for Osama bin Laden by the CIA.

It has come under fire from both the security agencies and human rights groups for its depiction of torture including water-boarding.

Some US politicians, including former presidential candidate John McCain, have called for Sony Pictures to add a disclaimer to the film ensuring it is dubbed a 'fictional account', adding that information gained through torture was not used in the hunt for bin Laden.

Bigelow said that she and writer Mark Boal were 'truly awed' by the reaction to film.

“Nothing is more flattering, humbling and intimidating than creating a film that inspires thoughtful dialogue and debate on topics that are relevant and important,” she said.

“To be clear, we had no agenda in making this film and were not trying to generate controversy. Quite the contrary. Mark and I wanted to present the story as we understood it, based on the extraordinary research that Mark did.”