It has been seen by millions on the Internet.
But a video purportedly showing a young Syrian boy risking his life to save a terrified girl from gunfire is in fact a fake.
Although the heart-rending images on the ‘Syrian hero boy’ film misled so many on YouTube, the Norwegian director behind the video is unrepentant.
Lars Klevberg said he wanted to shed light on the horrors facing children caught up in war, stressing that the boy’s rescue of the girl, braving a hail of bullets, signals hope.
“I will always be a voice for children,” he said.
The Norwegian Film Institute helped fund the video, according to the production team who say it was shot in Malta, on a set previously used for blockbusters like ‘Gladiator’.
Professional child actors were used, they have revealed, saying the voices heard in the background are those of Syrian refugees living on the island.
Those involved in the film hope it will continue to raise awareness of the plight of some of the youngest victims of war.