Buggered Mind of Neale Sourna, The

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Ex-Persia Iran outraged by 'derogatory depictions of ancient Persia' in '300' movie

No one's considered that in the time of the ancient's this graphic view is how they of the wonderful Greek, independent, reason driven city states of that far day imagined and saw the east, whether Persia, Far East, or Egypt; decadent, other, wrong.

Remember when soldiers from the north and African American slaves of the Civil war had tails?

Odd that, perhaps, this hasn't changed in 2500 years.

Or it has, and we can have fun with it.

And then again, the Iranians who no longer wish to be called Persians, except when it's historically cool, mayhaps, should not have changed their name [changed to distance themselves from their former leader the decadent westernized Shah and his new Persia, right? Or wrong?]. And maybe they shouldn't be watching decadent western films.

Neale Sourna
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Iran outraged by 'derogatory depictions of ancient Persia' in '300' movie
Thu Mar 22, 9:48 PM
By Edith M. Lederer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Iran's UN Mission expressed outrage Thursday at "deliberate distortions" of ancient Persia in the blockbuster movie "300" and suggested it is propaganda for western efforts to "demonize the Iranian nation."

In a statement, the mission denounced the "crude demonization of Persians as the embodiment of evil, moral corruption."

The movie, which raked in US$70 million in its opening weekend, is based on a comic-book fantasy version of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., in which a force of 300 Spartans held off a massive Persian army at a mountain pass in Greece for three days.

Even some U.S. reviewers noted the political overtones of the West-against-Iran storyline - and the way Persians in the movie are depicted as decadent, sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the noble Greeks.

The mission's statement came amid a standoff between Iran and the UN Security Council over the Islamic country's nuclear program.

Paul Cartledge, professor of Greek history at Cambridge University in England who consulted on both the movie and an exhibit, said earlier this month the film is good entertainment, though not as "a documentary of what actually happened at Thermopylae" or of the situation in Greece and Persia at that time.

"The movie both suggests what is false - that the Persian king was an outlandish giant with multiple piercings, etc. - and suppresses what is true - the Spartans were in fact fighting as the lead members of a Greek alliance," he said.

Cartledge also said the Persian Empire "was not a one-dimensional barbaric despotism but actually quite civilized and tolerant in many ways - even if by no means well disposed to Greek-style democracy."

The statement from Iran's UN Mission asked: "Why the film fails to convey a bare minimum truth about Iranian history and indulges in invention perverse, demonic images of Persians."
"Indeed, the movie's distorted fabrications about the Persians cannot be isolated from the current concerted efforts by certain western interest circles to systematically demonize the Iranian nation," the mission added.

"The movie's slavish imitation of the anti-Iran discourses by those circles is inextricably tied up with its voice-over metaphoric thrust, reflecting a subtle propaganda that feels no obligation to respecting the sensibilities of the Iranian people."

The film touched a sensitive nerve in Iran, even though it will probably never open there because of the government's restrictions on western films. The cultural advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced it, Iranian television ran several commentaries calling the film insulting and Iranian film directors have pointed to its historical inaccuracies.

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