Samira Goetschel was burnt by the fire of Middle Eastern conflict. Born in Iran, she grew up in New York after her father, a government minister of the Shah of Iran, was murdered to make way for the Islamic state under Ayatollah Khomeini.
A first time filmmaker, Goetschel forged ahead without funding or other affiliations. Designed as a personal inquiry into the economic and political expediency of Osama Bin Laden, she pinned down over a dozen officials and experts engaged with the war on terror.
Demonized after the 9/11 bombings, Bin Laden was the poster boy for regime change in Afghanistan and, ironically, Iraq, a country without any connection to Al-Qaeda. Bin Laden continues to play his role as the ultimate international troublemaker by systematically inflaming the West with his audio and video missives, while the U.S. foreign policy makers who brought him to prominence fade from public view.
Goetschel’s film succeeds by reiterating the facts that the daily news juggernaut long ago forgot. Despite Goetschel’s self-centered provocations posed as questions, she gets heavy hitters like former Pakistani Prime Minster Benazir Bhutto, former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former CIA director Stansfield Turner and the ubiquitous Noam Chomsky to deliver the facts first hand. This film connects the dots between the cold war, international drug trafficking, corrupt banks and the arms trade to the rise of the Taliban and the birth of the Islamic Jihad. Our Own Priv@te Bin Laden is the essential lesson in political economy necessary to unravel the war on terror. (Linda Feesey)
Dir. Samira Goetschel, www.ourownprivatebinladen.com