Zero Dark Thirty: International Law, Torture and Representation

EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 10th Anniversary Conference, Vienna, 4-6 September 2014, Conference Paper No. 12/2014

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-09

14 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2014 Last revised: 4 Mar 2015

See all articles by Daniel Joyce

Daniel Joyce

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Gabrielle Simm

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 4, 2014

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between film and international law against a historical and theoretical backdrop, foreshadowing the further development of international legal theory regarding the image and also engaging with relevant film criticism. We examine one recent feature film, Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and released in December 2012. The film focuses on a fictionalised account of the covert US operation to capture and kill Osama bin Laden. The paper uses the film and its critical reception as a means to begin to consider related questions of genre, torture, gender, targeted killing and the dangers presented by their representation in a Hollywood film.

Keywords: international law; law and film; Zero Dark Thirty; legal theory; law and image; film criticism; Osama bin Laden; torture; targeted killing; representation

Suggested Citation

Joyce, Daniel and Simm, Gabrielle, Zero Dark Thirty: International Law, Torture and Representation (September 4, 2014). EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 10th Anniversary Conference, Vienna, 4-6 September 2014, Conference Paper No. 12/2014; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2546186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2546186

Daniel Joyce (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Gabrielle Simm

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

P. O. Box 123
Broadway, NSW 2007
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.uts.edu.au/staff/gabrielle.simm

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