One of Hollywood’s most meticulous and acclaimed filmmakers, Kathryn Bigelow makes “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) an accurate portrait of the succession of instability and panic in which the United States has plunged since 9/11, when, in 2001, the terrorism had bared its teeth at the world in a more frightening way, triggering an episode that, fortunately, continues to inspire the repudiation of the international community and of women and men who we cherish for the civilizing values that made it possible for us to get here with some order, without ignoring the individual freedom and security. Almost everything has already been said about the crash of not one, but two aircraft against the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, in the heart of New York, as well as a third, destined for the Pentagon, headquarters of the American Department of Defense, outside the capital, Washington, and the crash of the fourth plane into an open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the heroic attempt by some passengers and crew to subdue the hijackers and take command of United Airlines Flight 93, the less spoken. There were no survivors in any of the incidents, which resulted in the deaths of 2,977 civilians and nineteen attackers and left another 6,291 people injured.
The more one tries to go deeper into what actually happened behind the scenes of the greatest attack on American sovereignty in its own territory, the more certainty grows that, although necessary, the institutional response to the attacks, as it was already conjectured that it could happen, resulted in abuses of all order, including against civilians, a scenario whose ignominy may well be compared to that of terror-sponsored offensives. 9/11 — and, mainly, the long two decades that followed them — assumed the status of a great Fla-Flu, whose winner of this nefarious championship is the one who manages to carry the largest number of corpses on his back, a trophy that attests to a victory insane against logic, common sense, diplomacy, politics, economics and humanity. Western democracies around the world were forced to recognize their faults and vices, while the instability of traditionally strong countries grew. The theme lacked a dispassionate, serious, multifactorial analysis, something most bureaucrats around the world have never even heard of. But Bigelow did not hesitate.
Consciously or not, Bigelow concentrates a good part of the action on a female character, who embodies paranoia, fear, and outraged Yankee pride, which has never managed to regain its integrity. In the same way that the director makes it clear that this is an eminently authorial film, defined by her vision of the world present in each of the many details, some invisible to the naked eye, from a certain point in Mark Boal’s script Jessica Chastain is who draws all the attention to herself with the performance that earned her a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actress, only won a decade later with “The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021), directed by Michael Showalter. Maya, the typical girl personified by Chastain’s unbeatable talent, materializes through strong expressions and body work that doesn’t need finishing touches what made the protagonist move to Pakistan in search of Osama bin Laden (1957-2011), leader and patron of Al Qaeda, a faction that claimed responsibility for barbarism from the very beginning.
Boal’s text, a protocol continuation of “Guerra ao Terror” (2008) — which on the same occasion took the Oscars for Best Film and Best Director, in addition to four other awards —, is a rise and fall of tension that does not always work, but when he engages he owes the credit to Chastain. The actress manages with relative ease to highlight Maya’s obsessive temperament, her exaggerated attachment to her career and to what she chooses as her mission in life, to the point that the story ends up becoming a lucubration about the madness that threatens to dominate her and overshadow her future. rest of the cast and the plot itself. Bigelow extracts this versatility from Chastain and gives his film the personality that characterizes all of his work — and then, no one is interested in what may be factual in the plot, since the newspapers have taken care of everything in full, ambivalent predicate , which both enriches and undermines the vigor and urgency of the plot. The cat’s jump from “A Hora Darkest”, however, remains preserved: depositing in Maya all human weaknesses, as if she personified the diminutive powers of man in the face of a scenario in which adversity rages in its most heinous possibilities. Maya wins, but at a cost even she herself cannot estimate.
Film: The darkest hour
Direction: Kathryn Bigelow