In Zero Dark Thirty, the audience observes Dan playfully interacting with monkeys in a cage on the base in Pakistan. He jokes with them and feeds them ice cream.
While I think this may be character development, I'm not very confident in this theory. I think there is more to it than that. Are the monkeys meant to be a metaphor for the prisoners, suggesting Dan can be compassionate with monkeys but not them?
What purpose does Dan's interaction with the monkeys serve in Zero Dark Thirty?
Edit: In this interview, actor Jason Clarke confirms that the monkey cages were in fact present on the base in real life.