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The Boston Globe


Joanna Weiss

Bigotry, both fringe and state-sanctioned

IF YOU HAVEN’T seen the 13-minute YouTube trailer of “Innocence of Muslims,” it’s worth a look, if only to witness the ultimate collision of bigotry and bad production values. Posted to YouTube last summer, dubbed recently into Arabic, the video features an Ashton Kutcher type as a murderous and lecherous Mohammed. It’s filmed on a green screen so crude that, at times, the characters seem to be floating above the desert sands.

Andrew Goldberg, a filmmaker, watched the clip in his New York office with his production staff last week and thought, at first, that it was a joke. “I’ve seen an awful lot of Middle Eastern filmmaking, and at its absolute worst, it’s not this bad. This is singular,” he told me. One of the editors of Goldberg’s 2007 film “Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century” had a similar reaction on Facebook: “ ‘Horseman Without a Horse’ blows this one out of the water.”

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