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A War Story (2018)

In 1997 Osama bin Laden declared war on the USA. Pulitizer Prize winning CNN correspondent Peter Arnett embarked on a mission to locate and interview him.


John Laing


Dean Parker


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Cast overview:
John Leigh ... Peter Arnett
Tim Carlsen ... Bergen
George Kanaan ... Osama bin Laden
Ben Van Lier ... Jouvenal
Ishak Issa ... Bari
Chye-Ling Huang ... Elsa Arnett
Teresa Choi Teresa Choi ... Nina Arnett
Te Kohe Tuhaka ... Khalid
Michael Saccente Michael Saccente ... O'Rourke
Jeff Szusterman ... Chad
George Harach George Harach ... Media Advisor
Mustafa Demirsoy Mustafa Demirsoy ... Ahmed


A War Story is based on the dramatic events leading up and subsequent to the interview conducted in 1997 by New Zealand journalist Peter Arnett with Osama bin Laden. To arrange the interview Arnett met with bin Laden's Lieutenants in London. Later he flew with them to Pakistan and on to Afghanistan where he and his crew were blindfolded and driven to a remote mountain location. Hours later bin Laden and a group of armed militia arrived. Arnett had prepared thirty-two questions. Bin Laden's responses were a window into the future as he outlined his vision of changing the Arab world, explaining his determination to expel American troops and rid Muslim lands of foreign cultural influences. On the eve of 9/11, Arnett flew into New York City to stay with his daughter. The next day he watched horrified as the towers collapsed; his mind recalling the interview and bin Laden's veiled threat.

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New Zealand



Release Date:

1 October 2018 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

War Stories See more »

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User Reviews

A Bad Movie With Bad Acting That Pretends To Be History.
19 September 2019 | by J_Batek_IISee all my reviews

Out of 226 film reviews for IMDB (as of 2019.09.19), this is only the third "1 Star rating" that I have awarded (or, denoted). This is, truly, a terrible film.

There were times where I was laughing at how over-acted the lead role was and how corny some of these film-making techniques came across the screen. The music, transitions, and tone seem so inappropriate that it feels, at times, like this movie was created by amateurs.

The build up is long (over an hour), but the pay off is interesting. Of the last half hour, 20 minutes depict an off-camera conversation, in English, between the reporter and Osama Bin Laden. It was the best part of this mess of a film. I was so moved, I decided to research it. After searching high and low, and watching extensive interviews with Peter Arnett about all aspects of the Bin Laden interview, I can find no historical record of that conversation. So, the best part of the film is hearsay, at best... possibly, complete fiction.

Seriously, there is a reason I am the first person to review this film for IMDB.

RealReview Posting Scoring Criteria: Acting - 0.5/1; Casting - 0.5/1 (Bin Laden is not a 6'5" imposing character - just an actor named George.); Directing - 0.5/1; Story - 0.5/1 (Unverifiable nonsense.); Writing/Screenplay - 0.5/1 (Peter Arnett's lines are both terribly delivered and terribly written.);

Total Base Score = 2.5

Modifiers (+ or -): Standout Performances: -1 ( John Leigh );

Believability/Consistency: -1;

Total RealReview Rating: 0.5 (rounded up to 1 for IMDB)

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