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When Morgan Spurlock and his wife find out they are expecting a child in an unsafe world that faces multiple terrorist and environmental threats, Morgan decides to track down the world's most wanted and dangerous terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, undergoes self-defense training, takes all required medical shots, and sets out to travel to Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan amongst others to try and locate the man who has managed to elude the American army for nearly a decade. His fears, generated due to biased media coverage that Muslims and Arabs are hostile, are laid to rest when he does encounter friendly, and quite refreshingly well educated, hospitable, politically matured men and women, who are well aware of America's faulty 'foreign policy', and do not subscribe to Jihad nor to the Taliban nor Osama's terror-tactics. But he does encounter some hostility, quite ironically, in two of America's allies -- Israel and Saudi Arabia -- and it is on the soil of Pakistan -- ... Written by
Forget about Carmen Sandiego. What we really want to know is where in the world is Osama bin Laden? That's what Morgan Spurlock, the documentarian who brought us "Super Size Me," is determined to find out and he's gone and made a whole movie on the subject. He wonders why, all these years after 9/11, the man who perpetrated that atrocity has yet to be found and brought to justice even with a $25 million reward hanging over his head. So if the CIA and the FBI can't locate him, perhaps Spurlock himself can. And with a baby of his own on the way, Spurlock has a new-found reason for wanting the world to be a peaceful place. So off he goes on a tongue-in-cheek but, at the same time, deadly serious - tour through some of the most dangerous places on Earth in search of the Most Wanted Man in the universe.
So, after getting his inoculations, a little defense and survival training, some language lessons and tips on fashion, Spurlock is off and running on his journey.
He makes stops in Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and, finally, Pakistan (where most experts believe bin Laden is hiding out, if, indeed, he's alive at all) and, in each of those places, he discovers that people are just people, regardless of their religious and sectarian differences, and that the vast majority of them want pretty much the same thing: to earn a decent living, to provide for their families, and to see their children grow up in a world where people are free to live at peace with one another.
Not that he doesn't encounter individuals who express support for bin Laden and al Queda and sympathize with their causes - just that such people appear to be in the minority, even in that part of the world.
Spurlock is unsparing in his criticism of America for propping up dictators in these areas and for funding their brutal regimes, thereby providing a fertile breeding ground for present and future terrorists. But he also takes swipes at the radical Muslims themselves, who, through their extremist, blood-soaked actions, do all they can to give Islam a bad name. Perhaps, the most fascinating leg of the tour occurs in Saudi Arabia, where even Spurlock is shocked by what he sees: a country where church and state are truly one, where there is no freedom of speech or the press, and where religious moderates are as rare as a bin Laden sighting in a local strip joint. This leads to the most bizarrely incongruous and darkly amusing image in the film: that of an opulent, state-of-the-art mall swarming with women shoppers covered from head to toe in black burkas.
While Spurlock is dead serious in his intentions, his tone in "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?" is refreshingly light-hearted and gleefully ironic. He even finds humor in exploring the caves of Tora Bora, where, it is believed, bin Laden planned out the 9/11 attacks and where he was last seen. Spurlock also uses animation and simulated video game imagery to enliven the tone.
It doesn't require a spoiler alert to report that Spurlock is ultimately unsuccessful in finding bin Laden if that indeed was his actual goal. But if his intention was a broader one namely, providing an amazingly comprehensive survey of attitudes in the Muslim world and to show that we are all in this fight together - he has achieved it ten times over.
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