One scene features a bloodied, disoriented and humiliated man strapped to a wall with his pants around his ankles. A second scene depicts the same man having liquid forcibly poured down his throat; later, he’s shoved into a box that could barely hold your stereo...I'm no longer willing to view movies like this. (And I saw "3 Kings," which had a man getting liquid — crude oil — poured down his throat.) But this is what perhaps counts as serious film art these days. Crappy film entertainment is also full of torture (horror films).
Ackerman defends Bigelow: the film "presents a graphic depiction of what declassified CIA documents indicate the torture program really was" and "does not present torture as a silver bullet that led to bin Laden; it presents torture as the ignorant alternative to that silver bullet."
Bigelow's critics, linked in Ackerman's article, are worried that the film may convince people that torture is effective and worthwhile. This all sounds too rational. What does sitting quietly in a dark room with a crowd of comfortable strangers, watching huge, bright, clear moving pictures of actors pretending to be tortured do to our souls? I know the stock answer is: It's worse to live comfortably and complacently with a head free of any such picture. But the stock answer assumes that our souls are already dead.