A fake video, claimed to be a home movie of Barack Obama’s birth in Kenya, has been watched nearly 300,000 times on the Internet over the past week. The man behind the short video — planted to bait conspiracy theorists who claim the US president was born in Kenya and not, as records show, in Hawaii — is an Israeli named Nimrod Kamer.
Kamer, aka Peter Rehnquist, who in the past has worked for the Israeli publications Haaretz and Globes, and currently works for Vice Magazine, wrote that he created the one-minute video in response to business tycoon Donald Trump’s challenge to Obama to release personal documents in exchange for a $5-million donation to a charity of the president’s choice.
The video, posted on October 27, purports to show Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, giving birth to the infant Barack as filmed by his father in Nairobi in 1961. The video appears as though it was filmed with an 8 mm camera, an effect Kamer said he achieved by using a special filter on his iPad.
“I just wanted to state, for the record, that I intentionally inserted very obvious clues into the video to ensure that it could easily be proven fraudulent: the incorrect Kenyan flag, claiming the film was shot on 8mm film when I really used a cheap iPad filter app; and casting a baby who was obviously too big,” wrote the creator.
Kamer posted a second video on Wednesday, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the birth video, in which he shows the process of producing the $500 fake video and his efforts to sell it to right-wing pundits, claiming he got it from a man in Kenya who wanted to sell it for $10,000.
The conspiracy theory, believed by some on the far right — known as “birthers” — charges that Obama is ineligible to be president, because he was not born in the United States. Some birthers have sought court rulings to grant them access to personal documents they claim would prove he’s ineligible.
In 2008, Obama released his official Hawaiian birth certificate to dispel the charges.