Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden? (2008)

(In theaters, May 2008) So Morgan Spurlock, having done his best to anti-super-size America, now goes abroad in an attempt to find Osama Bin Laden. No, he doesn’t find him, but I don’t think he ever means to: the real goal of the film is to go abroad and provide an ordinary-man’s view of the relationship between the USA and the Middle East in these turbulent times. The conclusion will be obvious to anyone: People don’t like the American government’s policies, but are OK with Americans because, hey, we’re all alike. It’s hardly a stunning revelation, but I suppose there’s always a place for Geopolitics 101 in the Blockbusters of the nation. Spurlock’s faux-naive act can be grating at times (randomly asking Arab shoppers “do you know where Osama bin Laden is?” isn’t exactly hard-hitting documentary skill), but he’s a sympathetic figure and the variety of techniques at his disposal (songs, false video-games, interviews, more interviews) is enough to keep anyone interested. There are even two remarkable sequences in the film: one where Spurlock raises the ire of an orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Israel, and another one where his questions to Saudi high-school students lead to the abrupt end of the interview. People expecting much more than a reasonably entertaining documentary will be disappointed, but I think that the real audience for this film needs to hear some obvious statements before any real progress is made. Whether they’ll ever see the film itself is another matter entirely.

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