I'm Not A Monster

Publisher:
BBC, PBS

I'm Not A Monster

4.9/5

Critic Rating

Seeking to separate fact from fiction, the multi award-winning series returns. Josh Baker investigates the divisive story of Shamima Begum.


Critic Reviews

Score: 5

Lauren Passell • Podcast The Newsletter Jan 16, 2023

"(Series: Shamima Begum)...it’s outrageously compelling...Josh has dug deep into the story to find nuance, truth, and the beating heart of a shocking story."

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Score: 4.8

Fiona Sturges • Financial Times Jan 15, 2023

"(Series: Shamima Begum) Predictably, the series has already caused a furore, with assorted media commentators raging at the BBC for giving a platform to a supposed terrorist. In fact, it is the media, rather than Begum, that comes off looking worst, at least so far. It’s early days for the series, but the signs so far are of a gripping and nuanced production keen to build a complete picture of Begum based on evidence rather than hearsay. What it can’t avoid, though, is the frothing and fury that erupt elsewhere whenever Begum becomes headline news. I’m Not a Monster’s intentions may be honourable, but ultimately it can only add to the noise."

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Score: 5

Patricia Nicol • The Times UK Jan 15, 2023

"Amid the pacey, compelling first episode’s scene-setting there are intriguing insights into Begum’s personality. Forget what and where she is, and she often sounds like a typical Gen Zer. Her gauche, almost guileless failure to court sympathy is fascinating. I am on tenterhooks to hear this story unfold."

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Score: 5

Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian Jan 14, 2023

"(Series: Shamima Begum) Baker put difficult questions to her...and seems to be allowing us to make up our own minds. Another gripping yet tragic tale that divides us all."

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Score: 5

Hannah Verdier • The Guardian Jan 5, 2023

"(Series: The Shamima Begum Story) The story of Shamima Begum sparks a range of opinions, but investigative journalist Josh Baker is determined to separate fact from fiction. He does so with painstaking research, retracing Begum’s journey from east London to Syria."

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Score: 4.8

Jake Greenberg • PodcastReview.org Feb 24, 2021

"From its opening episode I’m Not A Monster is compelling and propulsive. The creative team behind the show constructs it as a highly reported profile of one American woman, rather than attempting to generalize the tendencies and conditions that lead a US resident to join ISIS."

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Score: 4.5

Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian Jan 23, 2021

"Baker has amazing access to those involved, including Isis fighters (though I don’t think he should have interviewed Sally’s child), yet this gripping podcast allows you to make up your own mind."

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