Verisimilitude

The following motion picture is based on first hand accounts of actual events.

In the opening scene to Zero Dark Thirty, the quote listed above fades, and recordings of actual 911 calls from September 11th play to a black screen. It’s unsettling—some might say unethical—and it sets the stage to say: this is how history went down.

When I saw the movie a few years ago, I left the theater uneasy about the blending of fact with fiction in what would ostensibly come to be viewed as the “true story” about the hunt for Bin Laden.  Of course, as we know, it’s not how it went down.

But that opening scene encapsulates a feature that seems to be appearing with more frequency—at least in the handful of shows and movies I’ve watched recently: verisimilitude. (more…)