Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?

Film, Documentaries
2 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
Like a frat boy lumbering into the BBC to host the Today programme, Morgan ‘Supersize Me’ Spurlock ‘does’ the Middle East in this garishly packaged, low-level doc that, as the title hints, is hooked on Spurlock’s quest to find Bin Laden. It’s giving away nothing to say that he fails in his mission; it’s a cheap trick, employed by Spurlock to propel himself from Egypt to Afghanistan, via Morocco, Israel and Saudi Arabia, to take the temperature of the region.

He leaves behind him in Manhattan a pregnant, worried wife, which offers a convenient, if sickly, human angle to his journey. He travels about, interviewing people on the ground and trying to understand anything and everything about the region with very little focus beyond his spurious search for a man who at one point he caricatures in an animated insert as a bearded version of MC Hammer.

Spurlock’s investigation is flawed from the beginning. A visit to an American self-defence specialist illicits histrionics which lump the entire Middle East into a category marked ‘terrorist’. It’s the first in a series of condescensions and crass interventions that include Spurlock riding a camel in Egypt, trying to force interviews with veiled women in Saudi and provoking Orthodox Jews to violence in Jerusalem.

What Spurlock demonstrates here – and full credit to Michael Moore – is how hard it is to combine popular style with proper intent. How can you view seriously anyone who ‘embeds’ himself with US troops in Afghanistan only to fire a rocket into a hillside for laughs? ‘That was awesome,’ grins Spurlock inanely.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
12A
Release date:
Friday May 9 2008
Duration:
90 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Morgan Spurlock
Screenwriter:
Morgan Spurlock