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My Trip to Al-Qaeda (2011)

Lawrence Wright , Alex Gibney  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lawrence Wright
  • Directors: Alex Gibney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Extra tracks, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00883OY9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,504 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


"...offers what may be the definitive cinematic investigation of the cultural and historical roots of 9/11." --The New York Times

"My Trip to Al-Qaeda is, in effect, a crash course in the history of modern Islamic terrorism." --Vanity Fair

Product Description

Product Description

In 2006, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright staged My Trip to al-Qaeda, a one-man performance that explored the moral dilemmas he encountered while researching his best-selling book, The Looming Tower: al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Culled from more than 600 interviews and 4,100 pages of notes, the play integrated his journalistic insights with personal stories, live footage, and photos of the places he visited during his extensive research. In MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA, Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney brings Wright's performance to the big screen and chronicles his quest to understand the history and the modern incarnation of radical Islamic terrorism.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Background October 14, 2010
One of my students (I teach a violence and terrorism course at one of the CSU campuses) taped this from HBO for me. It is magnificent and this should receive an award. If you wonder why we have terrorism today, this tells a significant part of the story. Wright outlines how Egypt, our ally, a dictatorship, but our dictatorship, managed to turn Islamists into Jihadists. Thanks, President Carter. You managed to create Sunnis that are now willing to kill us and then in Iran, Shias willing to kill us. This should be mandatory viewing for everyone. I will buy it as soon as it is available. Very well done. TC
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
To be completely honest, I had very little interest in seeing another documentary film profiling Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, or even the events of 9/11. After ten years of watching every related news profile and non-narrative (and fictional) movie on these topics, I'm on complete information overload. What's left to say? I mention this in preface to my comments about Alex Gibney's "My Trip to Al-Qaeda" because the experience really took me by surprise. I found this film to be so smart, so insightful, so unusual, and absolutely riveting. I'm not prone to unnecessary hyperbole (like Best Movie Ever!), but I think this is nearly essential in understanding the history, culture and psychology that led to that fateful day. But it doesn't stop there, it offers further commentary about the aftermath of the event and critically examines actions in the war on terror that might have been a part of a master plan. And whether or not you take these conclusions as gospel, it certainly presents an interesting case and much to think about.

The principle subject, and indeed the guiding force, behind "My Trip to Al-Qaeda" is Lawrence Wright. Wright is a journalist who has spent much time working in the Middle East, co-wrote the screenplay to "The Siege" (a 1998 film about terrorism on American soil), penned the bestseller "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11" and staged a one-man multimedia theater event that is the basis for this movie. In fact, much of the presentation focuses on Wright as he performs (or you might say narrates) before a live audience. Sounds simple and scaled back, and it is. But it is also thoroughly compelling and thought provoking. The movie also uses archival news footage, outside interviews, and portions of Wright on location.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE October 18, 2010
I watched this when it first aired on HBO with my 15 year old son, who by the way is studying the Middle East this semester. This broadcast taught him more about the truth about why terrorists behave the way they do then any book he has read thus far. I too had my eyes opened as this production boiled down the issues to their lowest common denominators. A terrific show that is as objective as possible while essentially stating the facts in a very compelling way. Everyone should see this, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Documentary October 29, 2010
I plan to buy a copy of this once it's available and show it to every person I can. Very informative and well done. The reporting was done in the most objective why possible and opens ones eyes to the truth. Bravo on a very difficult scary subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary, but a bit of a stretch. September 20, 2012
By Wes
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Overall, this is a decent documentary that sheds light on how Al Qaeda formulated. Like one other reviewer said, Lawrence Wright's monologues seem a bit forced an unnatural. The biggest criticism I have is that Wright more or less asserts that bin Laden turned on the United States because his pride was hurt when we turned down his offer to help with the invasion of Desert Storm. Maybe Wright didn't mean to state this as the only reason, but he focused on it like it was a main reason.
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