Who is Sam Bacile? - Macleans.ca

Who is Sam Bacile?

The director’s film, ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ incites violent protests—while the actors insist they were dubbed


A mere day after protests broke out in Yemen and Cairo over an American-produced Islamophobic film, the cast and crew of Innocence of Muslims are speaking out about their involvement in the movie, and the mystery around filmmaker Sam Bacile.

Bacile claims to be a 52-year-old Israeli-American real estate developer from California. He also claims his movie’s $5-million budget came from Jewish donors, but the film itself is poorly made, cheesy, and seems to be low-budget.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry says there’s no record of a Sam Bacile with Israeli citizenship.

Actors have also spoken out about the film as well: Cindy Lee Garcia has a role but says it was never supposed to be a religious movie. The script she was given was called Desert Warriors. Muhammed wasn’t even called Muhammed in the script: he was “Master George.” All the references to him, including any slurs against Islam, were dubbed over in post-production.

In early July, a nearly 14-minute trailer for the movie was posted on YouTube. The trailer is nothing short of insulting to Muslims and Islam.

Bacile says the full film has only been shown once, to a mostly empty theatre in Hollywood this year. It was dubbed into Egyptian Arabic by someone he says he doesn’t know, but does say that the translation is accurate. The film was made in the summer of 2011, with 59 actors and 49 people behind the scenes.

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