Posted: 04/27/2008

 

Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?

(2008)

by Rick Villalobos




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There are many places for an evil doer like Osama Bin Laden to hide: the land of Narnia, Oz, Jurassic Park or Middle Earth. Look closely enough, and he can be found on the back of a twenty dollar bill. Conspiracy theorists please pay attention! It is him—the man who has eluded the FBI for six years—he is smoking a marijuana cigarette with Jimmy Hoffa and the abominable snowman. Go ahead, use a magnifying glass—I dare you! Bin Laden is the new Waldo, dressed in a striped turban. He is the lost sock that suddenly appears. He is the superfluous pimple on God’s butt. Yet, we are so deeply fascinated by this wicked character that one man created a documentary about him.

Morgan Spurlock, the director of the hit documentary film Super Size Me, has done the unthinkable. With a gumshoe camera crew, Mr. Spurlock traveled thousands of miles to find Osama Bin Laden. Why? Well, because he is crazy. The United States government is offering a $25 million reward for Osama Bin Laden. How much did the Weinstein Company pay Morgan Spurlock for his attempt? There is much to be said for taking the initiative and Director Spurlock is no fool.

Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? is a comical and witty documentary that finds the irony behind finding the war on terror’s biggest player. Deemed “an impossible mission” by many, Morgan Spurlock nonetheless travels to Egypt, Israel, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to accomplish what many others have failed to do. It is a journey that investigates the different people (soldiers, citizens and politicians) involved in a questionable war that may last for many years to come. Mix video game graphics that are appealing to the average kid-at-heart, and the rumors of an interview with Osama Bin Laden himself, and it equals a successful fairytale.

Everyone will be fascinated by this documentary. Although, Osama Bin Laden is still missing (sorry—this bit of information is a spoiler), nothing can be more disturbing than to discover that his presence has become iconic all over the world. He is infamous. He is an idol. But most importantly, he is just one part of the whole. This film may not answer the question, Where in the world Is Osama Bin Laden? However, it does propose a new collection of inquiries that will probably be addressed in the sequel. Let us just hope that it begins with the question, How Was Osama Bin Laden Captured?

Rick Villalobos is a film critic living in Chicago.



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