Syrian Sniper Film Revealed To Be Hoax Funding By The State-Supported Norwegian Film Institute


We have previously discussed how filmmakers are releasing fake videos such as the recent profiling video out of New York — a practice that is not only dishonest but highly counterproductive for groups seeking to address such abuses. Now it appears that a moving video of a Syrian boy heroically rescuing a little girl under fire is a fake, but director Lars Klevberg, 34, is heralding his hoax as a wonderful success and is entirely unapologetic for misleading millions of people.

It turns out that the video was entirely staged in Malta by Klevgerg, who is based out of Oslo. He appears entirely clueless to not only the inherent dishonesty of his actions but how such fake films undermine real reporters and filmmakers in war zones. It allows abusive regimes to say that films are just another staged event like Klevgerg’s film and that you cannot believe what you see on such sites. Millions of people are less likely to be as motivated or outraged with the next film after being tricked by Klevgerg and his crew.

994799_137468736458262_331772468_nKlevberg however is overjoyed by the success of his hoax and the attention that it attracted: “If I could make a film and pretend it was real, people would share it and react with hope.” More like outrage first at the snipers and then at Klevgerg.

Klevberg insisted that “By publishing a clip that could appear to be authentic we hoped to take advantage of a tool that’s often used in war; make a video that claims to be real. We wanted to see if the film would get attention and spur debate, first and foremost about children and war. We also wanted to see how the media would respond to such a video.”

Of course, it shows that anything can be faked (hardly news to anyone) and gives regimes like the Syrian dictatorship a wonderful example to use in denying the authenticity of future films. Those films are the work of real heroes: filmmakers and journalists who put themselves at great risk to capture true images as opposed to Klevberg who sits in Malta and has a cast party after filming a hoax.

Various groups has denounced Klevberg and the Norwegian Film Institute that funded his hoax.

The other people involved in this hoax like producer John Einar Hagen seem equally clueless over their unethical conduct: “We had long discussions with the film’s financiers about the ethics around making a film like this.” Really? What ethicist told them that it is really ok to fake such scenes and make people believe that you were in a war zone?

For her part, NFI film commissioner Ase Meyer insisted “It was not a cynical way to get attention. They had honest motivations.” Wow, honest motivations in filming a dishonest film and releasing a hoax.

The team appears to be saying different things in the aftermath of the disclosure of the hoax. After allowing international outrage for weeks, they finally admitted that the film is a fake. Some are saying that they thought it was clear that it was staged. However, that contradicts the obvious point of releasing the film. If it was clearly marked as a “staged event,” why explore the ethical issues? No one would object to a filmed scene that is clearly make believe. Moreover, Klevberg expressly stated that he wanted to film something that looked authentic.

Ms. Meyer insists that while her group funded the fake film, it had no responsibility to disclose the hoax. She is quoted as saying that she encouraged them to disclose it was fiction and then did nothing. She must consult with the same ethicist used by the filmmakers.

Source: BBC

31 thoughts on “Syrian Sniper Film Revealed To Be Hoax Funding By The State-Supported Norwegian Film Institute”

  1. Pogo – yeah, those Jews are equally contributing because they can’t run faster away from homicidal maniacs wielding meat cleavers. Can you imagine if we sustained daily murderous terrorist attacks?

  2. Speaking of staged videos, I just read where the viral Drunk Girls video was staged with paid actors. It showed a seemingly drunk girl getting approached by guys who wanted to take her home.

    The actors are all upset because the men are now labelled as wannabe rapists when they thought they were filming a parody.

  3. KareS – Exactly.
    And immediately afterwards, Obama “called on both sides to lower tensions.”

    Step 1: Israel is attacked
    Step 2: Israel is told to calm down so they “don’t incite more violence.”

    The palestinians were handing out candy and treats in celebration.
    Calm down, Jews, or they’ll do it again!


  4. Pogo – I heard on the news that the terrorists swarmed the temple and hacked the Jews inside with meat cleavers. Sick. And yet, can you imagine the international hysteria if a mosque was deliberately attacked? The extremists want respect they are unwilling to afford anyone else.

  5. Hoaxes like this are one of the reasons why Holocaust Deniers claim the whole thing was staged.

    If he had released this as a short, it would have indeed been inspiring. But claiming it was true just left his audience feeling betrayed.

    This reminds me of when Orson Wells released War of the Worlds as a very realistic radio program. Most people listened to a more popular show, and only tuned in to Wells’ play during the intermission, so they missed the initial announcement that it was fiction.

  6. Well, for some perspective, and to class the place up a little:

    FROM WIKI: The Treachery of Images (French: La trahison des images, 1928–29, sometimes translated as The Treason of Images) is a painting by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte, painted when Magritte was 30 years old. The picture shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”, French for “This is not a pipe.”

    “The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture “This is a pipe”, I’d have been lying!”[2]

    His statement is taken to mean that the painting itself is not a pipe. The painting is merely an image of a pipe. Hence, the description, “this is not a pipe.” The theme of pipes with the text “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” is extended in his 1966 painting, Les Deux Mystères.[3] It is currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage.[4] Compare with Korzybski’s “The word is not the thing” and “The map is not the territory″.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. We know that the Palestinians have faked war films. This is like the scientific study to prove that on a clear day the sky appears blue. I would not hold this against any particular country but against the idiot who did it. Having said that, he did make a successful film and will probably get work with insurgents somewhere.

  8. One of the most famous photos of the Spanish Civl War, claiming to be of the ‘first’ casualty of the war, Robert Capa’s ‘Death of a Militiaman’ was eventually discovered to be fake. The intentions were no different.

    When Hitler was filmed dancing a jig outside of the railcar where he accepted Petin’s surrender of France it made him look like a goof. It was actually Hitler stepping forward and the film run backwards and then forwards.

    In the end, Hitler was mad. The militiaman’s death was a tragedy. And, there are plenty of horrific instances of war.

    If it brings attention to the issues, has it served some purpose? In the end all there is left are the intentions. And, you get to rewrite history if you win.

    Spinelli, I see you are in fine form bashing Norway. There are idiots in every country, proportionately more in the US than in most, the price of freedom. By the way, Norway gives more, per capita, in charity to the rest of the world than any other country, including the US which is well down from the top. The US gives more all tolled but that is because of population.

  9. “We wanted to see if the film would get attention and spur debate

    Anti-Semitic propaganda isn’t meant to spur ‘debate,’ it’s meant to incite violence against Jews.
    I have no doubt this and similar fake videos played a role in the recent butchering of rabbis in Jerusalem.

    The last time Europe went down this road, the US had to save their sorry asses.
    This time they are being overtaken by Islam, and I’m inclined to tell the EU to piss off.

  10. This is the narcissistic generation personified. And, what do you expect from Norwegians, they eat fish cured in lye!!

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