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A video showing an avalanche barrelling toward diners at a ski resort is being portrayed as real on social media, but it’s a scene from the fictional 2014 Swedish movie, "Force Majeure."
If a video appears too cinematic to be true, chances are it may be from a movie — especially if it has subtitles.
"Never underestimate the power of nature," read sticker text on a Dec. 26 Instagram video that shows a family dining on a patio at what appears to be a ski resort.
As they eat, an avalanche advances downhill in their direction. A man tells his family not to worry, saying it’s a controlled avalanche, according to captions on the video. Soon, diners begin to scream and run away as a rush of white powder sprays over them.
Although nature is indeed powerful — and the video captures that power — the scene is from a movie; the subtitles that translate the family’s words were our first clue. A simple keyword search on Google shows it’s a scene from the 2014 Swedish movie "Force Majeure."
The Instagram post, which had amassed more than 390,000 likes by Jan. 9, didn’t say the video is a movie scene. A caption instead talked about nature’s immense power, "from its breathtaking beauty to its forceful elements."
(Scene from "Force Majeure." Magnolia Pictures)
In the full film from Magnolia Pictures, the panicking father bolts from the table while his wife scoops up both of their children. The avalanche was controlled and stopped short of the restaurant, sending a harmless dusting of snow over the diners.
The movie’s plot focuses on the aftermath of the father’s actions and how they affected how his family perceives him.
We rate the claim that the video is real and shows the power of nature False.
Rogerebert.com, Force Majeure review, Oct. 24, 2014
Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing, Force Majeure Avalanche Clip, Oct. 28, 2014
Magnolia Pictures, Force Majeure, accessed Jan. 9, 2024
Gizmodo, That Viral Video of a Family Fleeing an Avalanche is Totally Fake, June 6, 2019
New Zealand Herald, Did a dad really leave family to die? Oh snow he didn't., June 6, 2019
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