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The 9/11 Family Group is coming to the defense of “Zero Dark Thirty,” issuing a statement thatcalls into question the motives of some of the movie’s critics, who claim that it overstates the role that torture played in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

“We are greatly concerned that a few pundits, ‘film critics’ and
elected officials are badmouthing this movie because of the
waterboarding scenes and because this film directly confronts the
enduring terrorist threat,” the group said in a statement released
Thursday.

As Variety’s Justin Kroll writes, the group went on to describe criticisms and political outcry as
“censorship”: “The use of the term ‘torture’ by elected officials in
hopes of dissuading people to endorse or view this film is antithetical
to what our government should be all about.”

Last week, director Kathryn Bigelow appeared on the cover of Time and has defended the movie in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, a shift in P.R. strategy which had earlier let the movie speak for itself. But that started to change when senators Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain blasted the movie, called for Sony to make changes and then launched an investigation of just how much cooperation the CIA gave to Bigelow and writer Mark Boal. Yet their actions also have had a backlash, with some creatives in Hollywood questioning why elected officials in D.C. were essentially trying to dictate the content of a movie.

“Nobody wants to think that if they make a work of art they have to answer for it before a government committee,” Boal said on the red carpet at the Golden Globe awards.