The death of Mahsa Amini in mid September ignited massive protests across Iran and has triggered a wave of anti hijab protests and anger rages unabated. The internet is rife with visuals of women burning their hijab and cutting their hair. The anti-hijab protests following Amini’s death have been met with a fierce crackdown by the authorities claiming over 80 lives in Iran so far.
It is in this backdrop that a video is going viral claiming to show a man dressed in black dancing in slow motion. The caption being shared with the video claims that this man was Iranian and that this video shows him dancing at his daughter’s funeral. It is also being claimed that this man’s daughter was “killed by the Iranian morality police for not covering her hair”. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
The video is being widely shared on Twitter.
Several Facebook users also shared the 20-second-long-video claiming to show “Iranian father dancing at daughter’s funeral.”
We began by scanning through the comment sections of posts carrying the viral clip to gain more information. One of the comments on @santosh581158’s tweet, user @AsifAli02838669 pointed out that the footage is from “ata ocagi serial.”
Using this as a clue, we conducted Google reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video along with the keywords “ata ocagi”, which led us to an article by Azerbaijani website 7 Times, dated September 29, 2022.
Displaying a keyframe from the viral video, the article stated, “The dance at the funeral of Nazim’s daughter in ‘ata ocagi’ became the agenda of social networks… It should be noted that the character of Nazim was played by People’s Artist Gurban Ismayilov. (translated from Azerbaijani)”
Further, we translated keywords “Nazim dance,” “Daughter Funeral,” and “ata ocagi” in Azerbaijani with the help of Google translate and looked up the same on YouTube. This yielded a video uploaded by Azerbaijan based Khazar Film (Xəzər Film), on January 9, 2018 with a title ‘Ata Ocagı (Series 78) [Ata Ocağı (78-ci seriya)]’. 19 minutes and 25 seconds into the video, we spotted the viral clip claiming to show a “Iranian father dancing at his daughter’s funeral.”
The description of the video roughly translates to, “The new series will talk about a family conflict. The problems of children who do not agree with the social status of their family are a topical issue today.Therefore, we will try so that the audience can see themselves and their problems in this series. These words were said by Rufat Shahbazov, the director of the TV series “Ata ocagi”….According to the director, the drama of several families will be depicted in the series: “The series is in the genre of psychological drama. We are planning to go on air from September. People’s artist Hamida Omarova, honoured artists Gurban Ismayilov, Rasim Jafar, young actress Asya Atakishiyeva will be featured in the series.The “Father’s Heart” series will be broadcast 5 times a week on Khazar TV.”
The YouTube channel also featured other episodes from the same serial.
A keyword search for “Ata ocagi,” “Gurban Ismayilov,” and “Azerbaijan” led us to a tweet by journalist Cavid Ağa, dated September 29, 2022, clarifying that the video is from a serial and the man seen in the clip is actually actor Gurban Ismayilov.
We thus conclude that the viral video is actually footage taken from an Azerbaijani show, Ata ocagi and the man seen dancing is actually actor Gurban Ismayilov (Qurban Ismayilov) and it has no connection with the protests going on in Iran.