The Washington Post

Is Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow a threat to national security?

Kathryn Bigelow, the Academy Award-winning director of “The Hurt Locker,” is at the center of one congressman’s call for a Pentagon and CIA investigation. Why? Because she and screenwriter Mark Boal — who collaborated on “Hurt Locker” and also have been at work on a film about the “black ops” hunt for Osama bin Laden — have received information from administration officials as part of their research for the movie.

As The Washington Post previously reported, Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) released a statement requesting the aforementioned investigation because of his concerns that some of the information given to Bigelow and Boal falls under the classified category.

“This alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history,” King said in a statement. That statement follows a recent New York Times column by Maureen Dowd, who wrote that the White House is “counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual.” The Bigelow Bin Laden movie, as Dowd points out, is scheduled for release on Oct. 12, 2012, shortly before the 2012 presidential election.

Meanwhile, a Marine colonel at the Pentagon denies that any classified information was shared with the filmmakers. And a spokesman for the National Security Council called King’s assertions “ridiculous.”

“When people working on articles, books, documentaries or movies that involve the president ask to speak to administration officials, we do our best to accommodate them to make sure the facts are correct,” Tommy Vietor told The Post. “That’s hardly a novel approach to the media.”

What do you think? Does this merit an investigation of some sort or is King purely playing politics? Are you concerned that Hollywood filmmakers — be it Bigelow or someone else — could get access to classified information when working on a project with political themes? And does the notion that a film about the search for Bin Laden will be released during election season give you pause? Weigh in by posting a comment.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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