A viral video that purportedly was taken in Syria and was posted online earlier this week showed a young boy running across a dusty road, getting shot and then, after faking his death for a moment, jumping back up to save a young girl hiding behind a car.
The two run off from behind the car as more gunfire, allegedly from the Syrian army, followed them while those filming the footage shouted "allahu akbar," which the description of the video says means "God is great." A clip was played on the activist Shaam News Network, according to the video's description.
The Norwegian filmmaker said they posted the video as authentic footage out of Syria to show what children face during war. The filmmaker later revealed everyone involved was acting. (Image source: YouTube)
As the video went viral, its authenticity was called into question, but many still labeled the boy a hero. By the end of the week though, it was revealed that the whole thing was a setup and didn't even happen in Syria.
Here's the original video titled "Hero Syrian Boy Saves His Sister From Syrian Army Sniper Fire":
The director of the video, Lars Klevberg, a Norwegian filmmaker, told Buzzfeed Friday that the footage was shot on the island of Malta and was meant to draw attention to what children face in war zones. BBC Trending also confirmed that the video was fake.
"If I could make a film and pretend it was real, people would share it and react with hope," Klevberg told BBC. "We shot it in Malta in May this year on a set that was used for other famous movies like Troy and Gladiator. The little boy and girl are professional actors from Malta. The voices in the background are Syrian refugees living in Malta."
Here's the behind-the-scenes proof that the people in the video were acting:
Klevberg told BBC that he "was not comfortable" initially lying and posting the video as reality, but noted 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," he said. "We also wanted to see how the media would respond to such a video.""