How the UAE-funded film The Misfits became anti-Qatar propaganda | Current events in Art and Culture

An Al Jazeera investigative program has revealed the details behind the production of a Hollywood film co-produced by an Emirati film company that has been hailed as “immoral” and “absurd” for portraying Qatar as ” terrorist state “.

The Misfits, co-produced, filmed and funded by UAE-based FilmGate Production, in collaboration with Paramount Pictures and Highland Film Group, tells the story of the wise thief Richard Pace, played by Pierce Brosnan, who escapes from a high-security SU . prison and continues to steal millions of the world’s safest structures.

An Al Jazeera investigation, reported by Tamer al-Mishal in the latest episode of the show What’s Hidden is biggest aired on Sunday, has revealed how the film’s original script was turned into propaganda against Qatar.

According to the investigation, The Misfits – released in the United States in June – have targeted Qatar more than 15 times, and are calling real Cathar personalities and institutions including the Emadi hospital, the country’s “Lekhwiya” police force, and Al Jazeera.

The film also refers to Qatar as “Jazeeristan” and accuses its citizens of supporting “terrorist organizations” while Abu Dhabi mercenaries are portrayed as heroes.

The screenplay of the film portrays Qatar-based Egyptian Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi as “the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and the sponsor of global terrorism.”

The Doha News report published in June quoted Egyptian journalist Mohamed Nasser as saying in a video posted online that The Misfits was nothing more than a UAE attempt to “destroy Qatar’s reputation”.

One Twitter user, who saw a leaked copy of the film at the time, described it as “absurd” and not worthy of feedback.

Although the film was shot in the UAE, it was released to be filmed in Qatar [File: Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Modifying the script

In a leaked exchange, Emirati producers had asked the US production company to modify the script to contain more political issues and propaganda against Qatar.

According to Al Jazeera’s Al-Mishal, a message sent to American producers demanded that a Qatari human rights defender, Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaimi, be mentioned by name in the film and that Qaradawi “also get an implementation scene “.

Although the film was shot in the UAE, it was released to be filmed in Qatar.

Financial support for the film was also provided by a company owned by the UAE national security adviser and son of UAE founder Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the investigation revealed.

According to the investigation, Rami Jaber, executive producer and co-star of The Misfits, has filed a lawsuit against the Emirati partners in an American court following a disagreement over the content of the film.

A leaked audio clip obtained by Al Jazeera showed Emirati producer Mansoor al-Dhaheri, founder and CEO of FilmGate Productions and Al Kalema Productions, offering Jaber large sums of money in exchange for him abandoning the cause.

“I offer you more.” Everything is going well on my part, I have no problems. Some $ 100 million is not a problem for me, ”Dhaheri said in the recording.

Dhaheri initially accepted a request from al-Meshal to be interviewed for the program, but later did not accept al-Meshal’s calls.

In a letter seen by Al Jazeera, al-Daheri’s Al Kalema society also demanded modifications to the film’s original script to contain mentions of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

According to the investigation, American actor Wesley Snipes had refused an Emirati offer to participate in the film because of his politicized content directed against Qatar.

The release of the film came just months after Qatar and its neighbors renewed links after more than three years of blockades imposed on Doha by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE in 2017.

Qatari and UAE officials have held their first meeting since detention in February this year. In January, the United Arab Emirates resumed air and sea entry points into Qatar.

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