Zero Dark Thirty, Maya and the myth of the Calydonian Boar

Adkins, Kirsten A ORCID: 0000-0002-9907-6691 (2021) Zero Dark Thirty, Maya and the myth of the Calydonian Boar. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 19 (3). pp. 311-329. doi:10.1080/17400309.2021.1949205

10181-Adkins-(2021)-Zero-Dark-Thirty.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.

Download (175kB) | Preview


Zero Dark Thirty depicts its female protagonist as a leading strategic character in the fictionalised account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Yet, as this study argues, she is paradoxically framed in terms of her capacity to disrupt the status quo. Kathryn Bigelow’s Maya (Jessica Chastain) is often marginalised by the male-dominated culture within which she works. This is a recurrent theme in military/combat narratives, evident as far back as Ovid’s tale of the warrior woman Atalanta. Research challenges the idea that physical and psychological differences make women less fitted to active combat, yet Bigelow’s cinematography and staging establish a narrative that expresses a mythological fear and mistrust of women’s inclusion into the fraternal unit. In arguing that the fate of Maya represents a cultural template which extends back to ancient mythology, this study unpicks the ideological forces which inform Bigelow’s framing of her female protagonist.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Zero Dark thirty; myth; gender; spatial cartography
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 09:00
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 19:51

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.