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September Tapes
September Tapes
Actors: George Calil, Wali Razaqi, Sunil Sadarangani, Wali Zarif
Director: Christian Johnston
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
R     2005     1hr 37min

An incredible achievement, SEPTEMBER TAPES chronicles one man's attempt to find notorious terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Don Larsen is the man responsible for the filming; an intrepid documentarian, he was joined by a b...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: George Calil, Wali Razaqi, Sunil Sadarangani, Wali Zarif
Director: Christian Johnston
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/25/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 37min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 5
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Unique Look Into War Torn Afghanistan
V. Marshall | North Fork, CA USA | 02/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Is it real or make-believe? Regardless this independent film offers a stunning, tension filled ride through the streets of war torn Afghanistan. Filmed in a documentary filmstyle with hints of bravado it will definitely hold your attention from beginning to end.

The film begins with a reporter Don Larson (George Calil) aboard a plane destined for Kabul. His goal is to capture video coverage of the Al-Qaeda operatives and to possibly get in on the bounty for Bin Laden. He is young, exuberant and bold in his pursuit of the men he believes to be responsible for the 9/11 attacks and he does not back down from questioning by Afghani supporters of the attacks. Larson places himself and his crew into all sorts of hairy predicaments fully aware that his life is at stake such as an arms deal gone wrong, an ambush by Afghani police and a shoot out with unknown assailants in the complex mountain areas bordering Pakistan. Acting as Larson's interpreter is Wali Razaqi, an American of Afghani descent and the often unseen camera man follows their every move. The footage is both chilling and authentic and the actors bravely insane.

Although the filming style of this movie is its draw I found the writing to be absolutely effective. The characters are allowed to be more than war mongers in pursuit of blood. The script allows for Calil to be the action hero as well as a very vulnerable and afraid man. Calil is excellent in this role and stepped out on a limb in order to play it. But it is the ending of this film that really hits home and ties the tangled web together with more than just tape.
You people can't be this stupid
Special K | Orlando, FL United States | 03/25/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I sincerely hope the reviewers on here who believe this is truly a documentary are kidding. This thing is a joke and total garbage. It's nothing more than bad acting shot in a desert. The lead actor (documentarian) who is supposed to be from New York, often lets slip a hint of his British accent. Come on, people. Wake up!"
This Is NOT a documentary
C. L. West | Western USA | 04/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Many, including some above reviewers, did not understand that this is pure fiction. Filmed in Afghanistan, yes. Real, no. It is 100% scripted movie-making.

The footage is gritty and realistic and it does suck you in with its downward suicidal spiral. But it runs a little long and the ending is obvious long before we get there.

They would have done better to have made a real documentary."
Analyzing why others hate it
Seth J. Frantzman | Jerusalem, Israel | 12/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film is about three men who go to 'search' for Bin Laden. Some portion of the film is acting while other parts are real. it combines documentary with some hard to believe scenes and some bad monologue 'acting'. This is the central problem here. Although divided into 8 'tapes' the film is really set in three scenes. The first is the most realistic, shot in Kabul. The second, the lead up to the battle and its aftermath where the American character metamorphosis's into a combat soldier is problematic when you question its authenticity.

The last sequence is the most problematic with its 'Blair witch project' feel, toooo many night sequences! The parts that feel 'real' mix with the parts that are just too obviously staged. For one the RPG's being fired at them!

But why do many call this the 'worst film' or 'how not to shoot a film'? This a disservice, as is calling it the 'osama witch project'. The clear reasoning behind the deep seated hatred for the film is accusations that it is 'jingoistic' which is a pure fabrication given that the 'translator' spend the first third of the film explaining how we must 'understand the terrorist demands'.

Great footage of Afghanistan. Truly realistic scenes of dealing with problems in other countries. It is a highly recommended film. It is not as 'bad' as everyone claims. Most will get through 2/3 of the footage with the feeling it is real, only about 1/3 has serious problems. A truly brave and original concept.

Seth J. Frantzman