Little audience for Zero Dark Thirty in Pakistan
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One scene that also raises questions shows a vaccination worker going to the compound door as part of the American plan to get DNA samples from the bin Laden family. The U.S. did in fact run a fake hepatitis campaign, but in the movie it's portrayed as an attempt to vaccinate against polio. This could add suspicion to polio workers already facing attacks by militants in the tribal agencies.
Pakistan has only a few movie theaters that show English-language films, and none so far has aired Zero Dark Thirty.
All films shown at cinemas must be approved by a board of censors, and the head of the censor board, Dr. Raja Mustafa Hyder, said no distributor has applied for permission to show the film.
Whether or not it would actually make it past the censor board is another question, considering that a representative of the powerful Pakistani military sits on the board.
After it came out that bin Laden had been living in Abbottabad and that the military failed to detect the American raiding party coming to get him, the once-revered Pakistan army found itself on the defensive. The film also highlights the cooperation between the C.I.A. and Pakistan's intelligence agency during the early years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States, a potentially embarrassing topic in a country with such vehement anti-American sentiment.
Jamshed Zafar, one of the leading importers and distributors of foreign films in Pakistan, said he decided after discussions with friends that it wasn't worth importing "Zero Dark Thirty."
"If you get into such controversy, you not only lose money but your reputation is also at stake," he said.
Any distributor or movie house that showed the movie might also be courting trouble with the public. Last year during demonstrations against an anti-Islam film crowds of right-wing Islamic hardliners burned some movie houses.
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