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Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? 

Morgan Spurlock was the most successful filmmaker to piggyback on Michael Moore's brand of celebrity documentary-making. By starring in Super Size Me, he made himself famous while shocking America by revealing that junk food is unhealthy.

Returning to centre-stage in Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?---the opening credits even feature a video game simulation of the superstar director fist-fighting Bin Laden---Spurlock never seriously intends to answer the title's question. The false mission statement allows him to travel to the Middle East and ask civilians how they feel about America. The surprise he takes in their criticisms is just feigning ignorance---like the scene in Sicko when Moore acts confused that there's no pay station in a Canadian hospital, or when Spurlock himself wants us to believe he's such a wuss that he barfs his first meal at McDonald's.

But the simplicity of the new film, which breaks down to occasionally memorable soundbites, restrains the arrogance. Beyond the forced parallel Spurlock tries to make between his pregnant wife and Middle Eastern prosperity, the narcissism's mostly at bay. There just isn't much to it.

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Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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