Archives / 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?

Director: Morgan Spurlock

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Morgan Spurlock, director of the unforgettable Super Size Me (2004 Festival), returns with a surprising follow-up: his search for the most wanted man on earth. And as he did with fast food, he’s determined to go the distance.

Amazed by Osama bin Laden’s success at evading capture, gung-ho Spurlock sets out to locate the Al Qaeda leader himself in a manhunt that takes him to Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and finally Pakistan (where most fingers point). Bin Laden is always one step ahead, but along the way the documentarian forms a picture of the Middle Eastern populations whose fates are inextricably intertwined with those in the United States. Who are these people? What are the culture and socioeconomic determinants of radical fundamentalism? Who in the Middle East appreciates a good joke?

Determined to get his man and some answers, Spurlock leaves no stone unturned. It’s dizzying to witness him ambling amiably into ultra-Orthodox Israeli neighborhoods and a Saudi mosque, where God’s wrath is invoked against America, as well as the malls and supermarkets peopled by moderates who are seldom seen on the nightly news: just the kind of temperature reading many Americans would like to take, if they dared. Outrageous graphics, original music, and an appeal for a higher consciousness among global neighbors are the fries and shake alongside this Happy Meal of a documentary.

— Shannon Kelley

Screening Details

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