Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?


Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
Written by:Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock
Released: August 14, 2008
Grade: A-

Four years ago, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock created one of the most influential documentaries of all time.  He starred in his own film and attempted to eat nothing but McDonalds for an entire month.  The film was Super Size Me and if you’ve seen it, you’ll know that it doesn’t paint a good picture for lovers of fast food.  It was no coincidence that McDonalds released its new healthy range that same year.

When Spurlock was last in Australia, I ran into him and his wife at an AFL match in Brisbane.  He was very friendly and he was interested to know what I thought of his movie (thankfully I liked it).  I’m happy to report that he’s put together a new documentary which is even better.

In Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?, Spurlock travels to countries including Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He speaks with the people of these Middle Eastern countries to find out what they think about the Taliban and also about the United States.  Oh, and yes, he’s hoping to find Osama Bin Laden in the process.  If he asks enough people, he figures that he’s bound to find the answer eventually.

This is a great film because Spurlock keeps things simple.  It’s shot similar to Super Size Me with Spurlock both the central character and the narrator.  He and his cameraman obtain some enlightening interviews with varying classes of people.  These discussions show a different side to the “war on terror” and will leave many viewers questioning the strategy of the U.S. government.

Now you might be asking yourself what’s the point of seeing this movie?  The majority of Australians are already against the war in Iraq.  Isn’t it just rehashing what we already know?  It does to a small extent but there’s a lot of interesting material that Spurlock uses to make his argument.  Even if you are opposed to war, you might learn new things to help reinforce your moral position.

I need to be careful though because when it comes to movies like this.  There are two very sensitive subject matters – politics and religion.  This film has something to say about both.  There will be some moviegoers who will be infuriated with Spurlock’s “propaganda”.

Regardless of how you stand on the issue, the film is sure to generate discussion.  That’s what makes it worth watching.  You’re still getting value-for-money after you’ve left the cinema.  Morgan Spurlock is a talented documentarian who loves to speak freely.  I look forward to hearing what he has to say next.