Film

Film

by

You have to be a special kind of filmmaker to look at post–9-11 Afghanistan and find its chaos and suffering a great backdrop for your macho mockumentary. Largely improvised in the war-torn region, Christian Johnston’s Bin Laden Witch Project follows ersatz journalist Don “Lars” Larson as he trolls Kabul streets for answers about “the lunatic who took so many lives.” Lars’s dialogue, including mawkish voice-over, is so self-important that it seems an overt indictment of ugly Americanism, but as the reporter graduates to vigilante commando—dodging bullets in Tora Bora caves and meting out personal revenge, the film outs itself as a shallow indie Rambo. There’s some boneheaded bravery in Johnston’s capture of happenstance verité, and the final firefights are war-game kinetic, but ultimately this is just another example of Americans buckaroo-ing their way into someone else’s nightmare and having a good swagger.