A naive, adventure-driven videographer with OCD sees himself as the hero of his macho fantasies as he fights alongside rebels in Libya.
Tribeca’s feature documentary prize confirms there’s an audience for this story of a low-key guy from Baltimore overcoming psychological handicaps to become his own version of Lawrence of Arabia. A healthy arthouse tour confirms its appeal, which will be furthered by PBS play. Two-time Oscar nominee Curry (“Street Fight,” “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”) encourages viewers to question the role of the camera, analyze the influence of videogames, and query the meaning of manhood. Yet what about the people VanDyke fights alongside? The Arab world is seen as an exotic destination of filthy toilets, desert landscapes and guerrilla soldiers, where an American with no battlefield training can help win the war against evil. Only the war wasn’t won, and Curry’s decision not to acknowledge this, not even a closing text panel, is deeply problematic.
Point and Shoot