Possible spoilers but …I mean, come on. By now?
The truth of the film #1: Zero Dark Thirty is a film about a CIA op whose job it is to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. To do that, she uses every available resource. Research, clues, surveillance, observation and torture. Torture is part of their program in the early part of the film. They torture several suspects. The first guy gives no information. They know that there isn’t any way they can break him. They eventually figure out he doesn’t know anything but they might be able to trick him into giving information.
The second time they waterboard a guy, it’s at the hands of Maya (Jessica Chastain) who repeats what the main interrogator (Jason Clarke) says, essentially, I’m going to make your life miserable if you don’t talk. He doesn’t talk, smack, he gets hit. He doesn’t talk again, smack, he gets hit. Then he gets waterboarded. The next thing that happens is Maya is in the bathroom taking off her wig, spent. After that, there are no more scenes of torture.