HBO’s “Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden”: Way Cooler Than “Zero Dark Thirty”

HBO Documentary Films

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Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden
HBO Documentary Films
100 minutes

Forget Zero Dark Thirty. Instead, check out director Greg Barker’s intimate look at the dogged nerds and tough-guy CIA officials who spent decades on Osama bin Laden‘s trail. This doc (based on Peter Bergen’s 2012 book) has the pulse of a Michael Mann thriller, tracing the hunt from long before Al Qaeda became a household name. It offers a fascinating glimpse at “the Sisterhood,” a crew of female CIA analysts who were “borderline obsessed” with nailing bin Laden in the 1990s. Details of their vital desk work are contrasted with interviews with former CIA higher-up (and torture advocate) Marty Martin, who refers to his “gangsta”-like role harvesting intel overseas.

Manhunt premieres Wednesday, May 1 (the two-year anniversary of the mission that killed bin Laden) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the trailer:

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This review originally appeared in the May/June issue of Mother Jones.

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