Filmmaker Not Involved With IS, Says Family - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Filmmaker Not Involved With IS, Says Family

Published December 12, 2014

Haukur Már Helgason
Main photo by
Wikimedia Commons

After Grapevine reported on the claim, which appeared in the New York Review of Books (NYRB), that an Icelandic filmmaker had filmed propaganda videos for the militant group Islamic State (IS), speculations appeared on the man’s identity.

An Icelandic filmmaker is known to have spent tend days in in Syria, 18 months ago. On Thursday, mbl.is cited statements from that man’s family, saying that he fears the organisation just as much as most people and cannot possibly have been involved with the group.

They say that the man documented life in refugee centres, and filmed battlefields, embedded with IS’s opponents. He risked his life, they say, to show the world how terrorist organisations such as IS operate. He got shot at on location.

According to the family, the man has neither been to Syria nor Iraq since then, and that he is currently filming in other war-ridden areas.

The family, as cited by mbl.is, further claims that the filmmaker has filmed material which the Islamic State may want to get their hands on; that this is why they now cunningly try to get Icelandic media to publish his name.

It has also been suggested that the NYRB’s source may have confused countries, and had Ireland in mind, or any other European country.

The Foreign Ministry has stated that it has no information on any Icelander having joined IS. Neither do he Grapevine’s sources within the Icelandic film industry.

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