The Straits Times
Published on Jan 26, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty entertaining but inaccurate: Ex-CIA agents


PARK CITY, Utah (REUTERS) - Osama bin Laden movie Zero Dark Thirty may be an entertaining film, but it fails to capture the true nature of the work of those involved in his hunt and capture, according to three former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents.

Mr Nada Bakos, Ms Cindy Storer and Mr Marty Martin are featured in HBO documentary Manhunt, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week. It offers an alternative look at the long search by United States (US) agents for the Al-Qaeda leader, who was killed in Pakistan in 2011.

Zero Dark Thirty, which has been nominated for five Oscars, portrays the hunt for bin Laden through the eyes of a young CIA officer, played by Jessica Chastain, and is described by the filmmakers as based on first-hand accounts.

"It's entertaining. It's a movie, that's the purpose of the film. What it's not, it's not a documentary, it's not a completely accurate portrayal of how national security works, or even how the CIA works," Mr Bakos, a former CIA officer, said of the Hollywood thriller in comments to Reuters.