“Innocence Of The Muslims”- Can We Stop Calling It A Film?
The “movie” that ignited riots in the Muslim world on Tuesday, claiming the lives of an American ambassador and consulate workers, is not a movie. It is a cheap video on YouTube that doesn’t deserve to be categorized with even the worst failures of real filmmakers.
Bloomberg reports that the lethal Libya attacks may not have even been sparked by the video. US officials are now investigating that the violence in Benghazi was premeditated and backed by Al Qaeda, as the weaponry seemed “somewhat sophisticated,” and the attacks were suspiciously timed on the anniversary of September 11th.
In any event, “Innocence of the Muslims” has forced its way into the narrative of these events, especially as riots have spread to Egypt, Tunisia, and now Yemen. Clips apparently caught fire in the Muslim world after being translated into Arabic, and being highlighted in the sermons of popular radical clerics.
The man responsible for the laughable video, “Sam Bacile,” appears to not be a real person. A producer of the film said that Bacile is a pseudonym, and that he is not even an Israeli Jew as has previously been claimed- Bacile is probably rather an Arab or North African Christian. No details about Bacile’s life- from his age to his occupation- check out either.
He also shows no signs of being a legitimate filmmaker. Bacile’s claim that he had a budget of $5 million is ridiculous, just judging by the clips available online. The entire cast of actors has now denounced the video, saying it was filmed as a movie about generic ancient Egyptians with no references to Mohammed or Islam, and that all of the offensive language was dubbed over later. Finally, Bacile’s “producers” are no more than mentally ill thugs known for leading anti-Muslim protests all over California; several affiliated groups and individuals have been designated as hate groups and hate group leaders by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
YouTube is littered with insane people ranting about offensive things. Why did this one take off? How did it happen?
Most filmmakers enter the field with the hopes of changing the world and inciting real action. In a tragic irony, it was not a work of compassion and catharsis that raised audiences from their seats, but a piece of propaganda and ignorance shot with no respect for the medium.
Of course, this middling amateur video is absolutely no excuse for the attacks, no matter how offensive the content was. It is sickening that so many Libyans, Egyptians, and Yemenis, even if the rioters were a small minority withing their countries, could be so disaffected, misguided, volatile, and downright stupid as to resort to violence over such an obscure and meaningless artifact. What next, burning effigies of Rebecca Black?
What do you think?