Visuals from a 2022 movie shoot shared with false ‘Pallywood' narrative

By: Ankita Kulkarni
May 19 2024

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Visuals from a 2022 movie shoot shared with false ‘Pallywood' narrative

Screenshot of a viral post claiming that video shows Gazans 'faking' injuries amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video shows BTS footage from a movie called ‘Al-Ahed,’ which was shot in 2022 and highlights the work of Palestinian Civil Defense Forces.

Claim ID 8e15862f

What is the claim?

A video being shared on social media shows a boy lying on a table under some wooden blocks with two people approaching him and laughing as they pick him up. Sharing the video, users have alleged that people in Gaza, who are facing regular bombardment from Israel, are faking injuries amid the ongoing conflict. Archived versions of posts sharing the video with such claims can be viewed here, here, and here

Several accounts have shared the viral visuals with the hashtag ‘Pallywood,’ a narrative that became popular among a section of social media users amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, which alleges that Palestinians are faking injuries, deaths, and funerals. The dehumanizing narrative is not new; an analysis by Logically Facts found a surge in such posts aimed at denying and mocking civilian harm on the Palestinian side since the conflict that began on October 7, 2023.

Screenshots of social media posts sharing the viral clip. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the now-viral clip depicts behind-the-scenes (BTS) footage of a movie that was shot in 2022. It does not depict ‘crisis actors’ allegedly staging deaths or injuries in Gaza.

What did we find?

A reverse image search of a screenshot from the viral clip led us to a video uploaded on TikTok (archived here)  by an account named ‘Mahmoud Maher Zaqout’ on February 15, 2022. According to his bio, Zaqout is a Palestinian director and photographer. We can see the now-viral visuals in this video, with overlaid Arabic text that translated to “A new movie” (translated to English). A comment posted by the creator below the video added that it shows the filming of a movie.

We found another video (archived here) posted by the same account on March 9, 2022. Around the 0:59 timestamp, the boy in question can be spotted wearing the same clothes as seen in the viral clip amid a similar setting. We also found other (archived here) videos showing what appeared to be BTS footage of a film on the same set. One of these videos (archived here) included the text “Behind the scenes of the movie Al-Ahed.”

The same child can be seen in the viral clip and the BTS footage of the 2022 film. (Source: X/TikTok/Screenshot)

The movie ‘Al-Ahed’ was uploaded on Zaqout’s official Instagram account (archived here) on March 1, 2022. There are various similarities between the film’s visuals and the BTS footage posted by Zaqout on TikTok.

The Palestinian Civil Defense had also shared (archived here) the same video on its official Facebook page the same day. The text shared along with it in Arabic said, “International Palestinian Civil Defense Day, exclusively from Al-Ahed movie (translated to English).”

Zaqout also dismissed the claims made in the viral posts in a series of Instagram stories, clarifying that the now-viral clip shows BTS footage of a film he shot in 2022.

Screenshots of Instagram stories shared by Zaqout in which he clarifies that the now-viral visuals are from a movie shoot. 
(Source: Instagram/mahmoud_maher_zaqout)

Furthermore, speaking to Tahaqaq, a Palestinian fact-checking platform, Zaqout said that the viral clip shows the BTS of the artistic short film he shot in the Al-Baydar area of the Gaza Strip for the Palestinian Civil Defense. He added that the film picturizes the challenges that Civil Defense forces face during their work, and the boy seen in the viral clip is one Hamada Shamlakh.

Logically Facts has also contacted the creator for more details and will update the article if and when we receive a response.

The verdict

The BTS footage of a short film, shot in 2022 by Palestinian artist Mahmoud Maher Zaqout, is now falsely being shared as Gazans faking injuries during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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