Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? Reviews
So where in the world is Osama bin Laden? Well, as you might have imagined, it's not something that really gets answered here. What it does provide though, are some well-educated guesses and speculations. Interesting and thought-provoking such, but assumptions nonetheless. Political shortcomings aside though, this was still a very enjoyable watch. Especially with all the fun and humorous animations.
Another thing I really liked about this film, was the very humane and down-to-earth feel it had. With his diplomatic and none-judgemental approach, Spurlock provides a reality-based image of arabs and muslims that is far from the angled view that we so often get spoonfed by the media. So altough Morgan may not unearth any groundbreaking facts, he does, in the end, grant us something far more essential: a tangible look at the common needs, hopes and wishes that connects us all as humans, along with some great examples of how positive change can be made by fairly simple and non-violent means. That alone made this into quite an inspiring experience.
In this film, Spurlock mixed with muslims during Ramadan, talked to people in their homes, in the slums of Morocco or a mosque in Jordan. It's a quest, and albeit he didn't exactly find his quarry, his intentions in the Middle East are admirable. He wanted to make a film that would breakdown the stereotypes of Muslims perpetuated by the American media, and in turn show Muslims that Americans are not all bad.
His expedition is also punctuated by telephone conversations with his wife Alexandra, as well as scenes of her in New York coping with her pregnancy and the worries about his safety.
This documentary also combines animation, adventure and comedy to produce a well balanced and thought provoking portrayal of the geopolitical relations between the Middle East and the West. It's powerful and effective in providing a three-dimensional, humanized insight into the thoughts, emotions and culture of the Middle East which strays from the mainstream media.
About a guy who went on a search to find Osama Bin Laden!
Moral: They say; You can even find God, If you really look for it!
One of the things I live about him is that he doesn?t come off as annoying in certain situations, as I find Michael Moore in some respects. Spurlock is clearly bright, but he has a great sense of the dumb doofus he plays perfectly whether willingly or just through basic reaction. And that helps. Plus there are a few nice statements, though the final one is a bit visually forced. Still, worth a watch for documentary-whores like myself.
More than anything, I think Morgan gives us a good look at real Muslim life, and people. An interesting sentence is uttered over and over in several different countries, "we don't hate the American people, we hate the government."
The movie is more about the journey to find Bin Laden than actually FINDING him. You can be frustrated by this, or just enjoy the trip. I myself found it interesting to see how these people live and what they think about us.
A lot of eyes were on Morgan Spurlock to see what he'd do as a follow-up to "Super Size Me," a documentary hit that became a cultural phenomenon and actually effected some change in the McDonald's attitude toward healthfulness (though Mickey D's denies the connection). With Michael Moore's muckraking sense of mischief but none of his abrasive personality or blatantly unfair manipulations, Spurlock is the new poster child for nonfiction filmmaking that's both useful and entertaining -- and he achieved that status with just one movie.
"Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?," follows his quest to find the world's #1 most wanted criminal. The result isn't quite the dazzling mix of comedy and education that "Super Size Me" was; in fact, you could come away from it wondering whether it actually serves any purpose at all. But I think it's a very well done sophomore effort, and proof enough that Spurlock is not just a one-hit wonder.
Spurlock frames the film around his wife Alexandra's pregnancy and his desire to make the world safer for his unborn child. Bin Laden is the world's most notorious terrorist, so why not get him out of the way.
That joking assertion and the hilarious video-game-style opening-credit sequence that follows it indicate that Spurlock isn't 100 percent serious about actually coming face-to-face with Bin Laden. He seems to know the quest itself is futile, and that the process is what's important. (Not to be a spoiler or anything, but if he'd actually succeeded in finding Bin Laden, you'd have heard about it before you read this review. It would have been big news. I will say, though, that he comes a lot closer than the U.S. government has, probably because he was actually looking and we sorta gave up.)
It's when he flies to the Middle East that the film really hits its stride. His search for Bin Laden takes him to countries where the terrorist has left footprints, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Spurlock presents a litany of facts and figures along the way, and here he proves, as he did in "Super Size Me," to be adept at alarming us without being obnoxious or divisive. He is the diligent parent who sneaks vegetables into our food. He reminds us that one of America's best buddies, Saudi Arabia, is one of the most repressive countries in the world, with an atrocious human-rights record, and that it's rank hypocrisy for us to be so chummy with them while rattling our sabers at, say, Iran.
Much of what Spurlock tells us might not be news to you if you've followed the "war on terror" closely, but it's a good summary and primer otherwise.
More important, I think, is Spurlock's attitude: hopeful, optimistic, and eager to understand everyone's point of view. He posits that if we can change the mindset that leads to terrorism and fighting, we can change the world. It sounds pretty simplistic, but Spurlock leads us on such an enlightening, lively adventure that we can believe it.
Do you best to see this. It goes wide this summer or later this spring. Bring your own game board.