Director: Morgan Spurlock | 93 minutes | documentary | Actors: Morgan Spurlock, Alexandra Jamieson
Have you seen “Zeitgeist”? This movie is free to download from an official site. It is a professional documentary that, among other things, aims to demonstrate that the 9/11 attacks were a set up. To this and other documentaries (such as Michael Moore’s more populist “Fahrenheit 9/11”), there are also reactions from other serious documentaries in which experts have their say who try to bring them down again. Madness!
Morgan Spurlock must have thought that too. He does not question the “fact” that Osama Bin Laden planned the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and focuses his research more on that other question: “why is that man untraceable?” He does not so much state that there is something fishy about this, but notes the fact that the most powerful country in the world has not been able to locate that one most wanted criminal for six years! But even more than that, the future father asks himself: “In which world do I put my child?” and “how can I make that world” better “?”
For this film, for example, he takes the plunge to travel all the “dangerous” places on earth for Americans in search of the face of evil. And what does he think? Mirrors, to itself, to America and to the entire Western and Christian world. Because the search degenerates into more of a healthy confrontation with the common man and woman in the Middle East, how they live their lives (not much different from ‘us’), what brings them happiness (food, education and a safe environment for their children, do you look familiar?) and what they think of ‘us’. Of course they don’t really know us and, like us, are blinkered by politicians and the media, but the conclusions are the same everywhere: America and its aggressive attitude keep the Osama and his ideas alive and reinforce them day by day, just like any kind of fanaticism does. And they worry about that just as much as we are.
In order to be able to make this film and the great journey through the world’s trouble spots, many other things had to be arranged besides finding a lot of money. For example, Spurlock received dozens of injections to prevent all kinds of very scary diseases and he was trained in survival techniques, such as: how should I behave when I am kidnapped, and: how do I survive a grenade attack (!). Fortunately, these training sessions turned out to be superfluous, but at least they indicate how scared they are. Only once does it get really hot under the soles, and that is in Israel, where friendly Spurlock is almost lynched by a mob of faith fanatics. He does not get angry or frustrated, but above all is very surprised and upset. Criticism is not Spurlock’s style, it is mainly humor that characterizes his projects. Humor he needed to undergo the horrors of his previous insane documentary ‘Super Size Me’ (2004), in which he (again) was not so much critical of the fast food industry as he personally experienced the consequences. have been eating at McDonalds for a month. Experiencing that for himself, that is what matters to him, not just saying something, also doing something. And how do you do that, how do you maintain it? With determination, but also and especially with a lot of perspective, Spurlock’s most important survival technique. His humorous, sometimes somewhat naive (and therefore quite open) view on things saves him several times, opens doors that remain closed to many and brings him close to ‘the common man’, which is the most fascinating aspect of this documentary. . It also keeps the film in a light tone despite the heavy subject. Running gag, for example, is a beautiful and funny computer animation that guides Spurlock through the countries, as if it were levels of a computer game with the ultimate goal of finding Osama Bin Laden. All well and good, but, does he find him or not? What do you think?