The film ‘Who is Atallah Abdul Rahman el Shaul?’ was shot in July 2016 in Lagos, Nigeria. The scriptwriter, the actors and all the local crew are part of the Nigerian movie industry known as Nollywood and considered the world's second-largest movie industry (after Bollywood) in number of films produced annually.
The film presents three versions of a rumor that reached Luciana Kaplun when she was working with children of the Sudanese and Eritrean community at the Levinsky Library in Tel Aviv, according to which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was born in a village in northern Sudan.
Each version begins with the Griot, the traditional African storyteller who sings and narrates the tale in Yoruba. The actors speak in Pidgin English interspersed with Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, Nigeria's major languages. The film is shot in full Nollywood tradition—melodramas motivated by love, jealousy, greed and power lust—with exaggerated acting, raised voices and expressive hand motions.
The tales take place in Sudan, Ghana and Nigeria, respectively, and each presents a different narrative grounded on details from the rural legend. Kaplun's video is homage to Nollywood, to African folk tales, to imagination that is not necessarily bound by the edicts of reality. The bizarre starting point places African-Israeli relations in an absurd, fantastic context that might turn out to be quite an accurate characteristic.