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Terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, the target of the CIA's efforts as detailed in "Manhunt: The Search for Osama Bin Laden." The film screens in the U.S. Documentary competition of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy Sundance Institute
Sundance review: ‘Manhunt: The Search for Osama Bin Laden’

"Manhunt: The Search for Osama Bin Laden"

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U.S. Documentary

**1/2 (two-and-a-half stars)

Now we know why director Kathryn Bigelow had to embellish parts of "Zero Dark Thirty" for dramatic effect. Greg Barker’s documentary covers parts of the same story as Bigelow’s Oscar-nominated drama in a straight-ahead, just-the-facts presentation. Barker starts the story well before 9/11, with the CIA analysts -- most of them women -- who first identified Osama Bin Laden as a financial mastermind organizing an international terrorism network. Interviews with analysts, field agents, and such military notables as Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. Stanley McChrystal get the details down, and computer-animated graphics help viewers follow the trail. But Barker misses a few major points (he covers the morality of waterboarding even less than Bigelow did), and the even tone provides few dramatic hooks.

- Sean P. Means

"Manhunt: The Search for Osama Bin Laden" screens again: Wednesday, 6 p.m., Salt Lake City Library; Thursday, 4 p.m., Redstone Cinema 1, Park City; Saturday, 9 a.m., Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City.

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