The truth about the film,
“Bahais in My Backyard”

In 2007, an Israeli production company Belfilms produced a film, titled Bahais in My Backyard.

The film set out to investigate in a light-hearted style what its producers described as “a widespread and mysterious religion,” in particular some of the unfounded myths and extraordinary conspiracy theories that occasionally circulate on the World Wide Web.

Following its initial screenings in Israel, the film – which its producers themselves called a “mockumentary” – has been re-broadcast in other countries around the world and is still viewable through online video streaming sites.

Perhaps most worryingly, the content of this tongue-in-cheek film has now been re-used as another justification for attacks on the Bahá’ís in Iran, where an insidious campaign of systematic persecution of Bahá’ís has been conducted since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The film’s producers subsequently issued the following statement:

Producer’s statement:
From Mocumentary to Black Market Documentary

I was surprised to see our film "Bahais in my Backyard" pirated and streamed on the internet after it was broadcast by SBS Australia, but it didn’t look like pure theft, but rather a compliment to the film's humour and lightness.

The next step, several months later, turned to be much more serious. The film was dubbed and streamed by an Iranian website. The dubbing, I am told by friends who know Persian, is very professional. At first, I was honoured by the effort and investment of the Iranian website and only regretted that we were cheated of our royalties. But when one of my friends translated the four-minute introduction the site added to “explain” the film and showed me serious and hefty attacks on the Bahais using excerpts from our film on another Iranian website called Alef, I was much less amused. Taken out of context, everything can be used to serve anything. To use a film which was done with such a light touch, making fun of the serious investigation we set out to undertake, to prove anything about the Bahais, is more than ridiculous.

What a pity the Iranians didn't quite get the point of the film, a mockumentary, in which we make fun of ourselves and our theories. Sense of humour, lightness, I thought, were universal values.

Noemi Schory, Producer


For authoritative information about the Bahá’í Faith, please visit, the website of the Bahá’ís of the world.

For more information about the persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran, please visit the following sites:

Related information: