Saturday, December 03, 2005

Pallywood In Action: Staged Battle Videos

I'm sure many of you have seen the "Pallywood" movie by "The Second Draft". If not, you should certainly do so. The movie shows some nice examples of staged scenes produced by the Palestinians in cooperation with Western journalists and presented as news by leading media agencies all over the world.

Why I am telling you all this? That's because I feel I've just discovered a similar example on the Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigade's website. This video is a footage from some kind of Al Qassam Brigade event held presumably in Jabalia. The video file is called "parade jabalia" in English and the description on the website calles it something like "military training". "Training" is also the word one of the militants is using while being interviewed during the event. However, what's being showed seems to be neither "parade" nor "training".

If it's a parade, then why is it held at night (or late evening)? Why is it so badly organised that military men are mixing with civilians all the time? Why are civilians helping the militants with movie sets? If it's a parade, everything should be pre-arranged to impress the public. And most importantly: Why are the cameramen behaving so strangely? It seems that they are filming not a large-scale public event but a series of small combat scenes.

If it is a kind of "training", then again: Why are the civilians involved? And what are the cameramen doing there?

If you look at the following screenshots, you might get an impression that they were taken at a Hollywood shooting stage when a war movie was being made.

If you cut the cameramen away from view, the whole scene will certainly look like a war footage. Good job! What else can I say?

In case you're patient enough to watch the movie till the end, you'll see what kind of cameramen were involved in the production. From what I saw, I could recognise Al-Jazeera, Al-Manar and Al-Arabia TV channels' logos, but there were more.

Today, we can only guess about how those media agencies used the footages they got from their reporters. While there was nothing especially interesting in the interviews, the videos made in Jabalia must be so ambiguous they could mean anything. They could equally be used as a HAMAS "promotional video" or be presented as "news from the combat zone". Somehow I'm inclined to think that Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabia wouldn't want to work so carefully on a "parade" reportage.

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