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History remembered in Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty depicts the events post 9/11, of the military raid on May 1, 2011 that killed the most sought after terrorist of the 21st century, Osama bin Laden. Many of us remember that fateful day in which we helplessly watched hijacked planes crash into a rural cornfield in Pennsylvania and buildings in Manhattan and Washington DC, taking the lives of almost 3,000 people. Being a student who has a great passion for history, it was definitely worthwhile to see the documented events on how dedicated the CIA were to find the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
There was no surprise to me that this film is rated R for scenes with coarse language, violence and disturbing images. In an era where violence is seems to be the norm in entertainment, it still was difficult to watch the torture carried out by the CIA upon Al Queda in order to gain information on the whereabouts of their leader, bin Laden. When the main character, Maya (Jessica Chastain) is revealed to be the CIA agent who has been tracking bin Laden, it is shocking as she is in her mid-twenties. She also later reveals to Leon Panetta (James Gandolfini) that she has been working for the CIA since she was in high school. That in itself is a shock, in that the CIA would trust someone younger than me! Her struggle to operate the mission reflects how one can make a difference, and that someone out there is willing to listen to someone like me, a twenty year-old college student.
The movie ends with the fateful raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. I remember where I was when the news came from President Obama announcing that the manhunt was over. While Al Queda is still active, when one views Zero Dark Thirty, one cannot help but be stirred by the patriotism of our fighting men and women. I highly recommend this film to all history lovers and any person interested in political science. Zero Dark Thirty has a running time of 157 minutes.

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