No Hollywood ending for Syria

No Hollywood ending for Syria
The fake film of a boy dodging snipers to save his friend had a familiar happy ending. But for Syrians, the realities they face are not so clear-cut.
2 min read
26 Nov, 2014
Regime supporters claimed movie sets were used to film 'fake' anti-Assad demonstrations [AFP]

Two weeks ago, social media and news sites were abuzz with chatter about a video showing a child said to be Syrian dodging sniper fire to save a little girl. It was later revealed it was filmed in Malta, and was part of a Norwegian film about children in war.

This opened the way for opponents of the Syrian revolution to doubt the authenticity of all rebel-issued footage. The Syrian, pro-Assad al-Dunia television channel speculated that rebels built sets and filmed thousands of actors to fabricate mass demonstrations in Damascus.

However, while few believed this was true, the Norwegian footage was watched many times and shared widely.

In US action movies, the plot revolves around good guys and bad guys, with the good guys usually triumphing after a long struggle. The "long Syrian film" is not so linear.


The footage was spread far and wide, with re-posting
users making viewers believe it was filmed in Syria

In this story, the evil role is no longer monopolised by the Syrian regime - there are other players alongside President Bashar al-Assad.

There is the "rising star", Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who plays the role of "Caliph", and takes his share of Syrian blood while grabbing the limelight with all the barrels he fills with severed heads.

The "Syrian movie" is not only unique because it has multiple sources of evil, but also due to its different storylines that have turned Hollywood fantasies into a reality.

One example is how siege and starvation pushed Syrians and Palestinians trapped in the Yarmouk refugee camp to eat cats and dogs to survive.

Such a thing might be seen on the silver screen, but we never expected people to live this reality in the 21st century.

This awful movie, which continues with no clear end, will surprise us yet with breathtaking scenes, and enable us to live the reality experienced by the Syrians in their daily lives.

But we wait for the next episode from our positions of comfort.

The attention caused by the Norwegian film seems justified, especially as the child survived and finished his "heroic mission". The film would not have been so heavily criticised had he died in front of the camera, covered in blood.

Death is the daily truth in Syria. Anything else is a surprise.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the original author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.