I chose to analyze two scenes (or one full scene and part of another) in order to demonstrate specific ideologies in Zero Dark Thirty. First, I noticed the masculine, physical, tough ideology that American war heroes have. The man in the opening scene tortures the victim in hopes of gaining intel– he uses physical violence with the help of multiple men who punch him, beat him, yell at him, and tie him up. Miya, whose feminine identity is not revealed in this violent scene, stands back and does not participate in the interrogation. In the next scene, she appears to be a little shaken up by what she had just witnessed, but works to overcome the stereotypical feminine reaction (of being scared and traumatized). Miya breaks down this ideology/stereotypical connotation by declining the man’s offer to watch the torture through a screen instead of coming in the room, and by refusing to wear a mask since her male counterpart doesn’t have to. By doing this, Miya is asserting her dominance and demonstrating her tenacious and brave qualities, breaking down the stereotype of a typical female, passive and inferior character. This ideology is later broken in the movie when the man is overtaken by the dark situation and goes home, while Miya ends up being mainly responsible for capturing Bin Laden.
Bigelow, Kathryn. Mp4. N.p.: Zero Dark Thirty, 19 Dec. 2012.