The Cult of the Suicide Bomber 2 Kevin Toolis

Further proving that human stupidity and delusion have a universality, which simply rears its head in different forms in varying cultures, The Cult of the Suicide Bomber 2 is an arduous, depressing and occasionally unintentionally amusing exercise in examining what leads a person to blowing themselves up in public places, aside from the promise of 72 virgins in the afterlife. Hosted by ex-CIA agent Robert Baer, this sequel follows up the original investigation of Palestinian martyrs with a look at the concepts of female suicide bombers, British terrorists and the effectiveness of the controversial Israeli West-Bank Barrier, which was erected following the increase in terrorist attacks during Al-Aqsa Intifada. Interviews with failed bombers and cell leaders prove simultaneously discomforting and repetitive, as each martyr claims a lack of manipulation or fear while alluding to a bizarre notion of celebrity for their sacrifice. When these discussions often prove circular, Baer travels around meeting with family members and childhood caregivers in search of a "reason” to project onto the bombers, which often includes stories of prostitution, abuse and the death of loved ones at the hands of Israelis. Many of Baer’s conclusions fall just short of glorified hearsay and conjecture, as they are examined professionally and intelligently but are debatable nonetheless. Also, while his persistence and bravery are admirable, and it is clear that he made an excellent CIA agent, his narration skills leave a bit to be desired, especially when making anecdotal observations and broad generalizations without caveats. These voiceovers are only exacerbated by English voice actor translations that range from barely passable to wrongly hilarious. Listening to a father talk about his deceased and martyred daughter with a bad Simpsons accent and a Tickle Me Elmo voice would probably be offensive if it didn’t so clearly stem from sheer incompetence and misguidance. Clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, this is a documentary strictly for those with a hard-on for Palestinian woes. No additional features are included, or needed, on the DVD release. (Disinformation)