Tuesday, March 20, 2007

300 given 2 thumbs down in Persian homeland

300 is a movie out right now that's gotten a lot of buzz for its "stylized action" and interpretation of the battle of Thermopylae between 300 Spartan soldiers and an invading Persian army that grossly outnumbered the small group of Spartans. While the movie itself is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel with the eponymous title, it does take certain liberties with the history.

Apparently, no one's been more upset by the artistic interpretation than Iran, per one of the country's cultural advisers. It would seem that the way the Persians are portrayed has so offended the Iranian people (who are descendants of the masters of the Persian Empire) that there's an online petition being circulated to prompt an apology from Warner Bros. The rest of the Arab world doesn't seem to have a problem with the film, and movie distributors don't see anything that would prohibit the film from being released within the region.

2 things:

1. Iran shouldn't worry about America using this film to denigrate Persians and indirectly Iranians because I'm betting that most Americans weren't aware that people in the U.S. from this region identify themselves as Persian foremost. The only way I became schooled in this juicy nugget of information was by attending university where the Persian kids I studied with broke it down for a brother.

2. Iran should probably focus its energy (nuclear or otherwise...ZING!) on the global tension surrounding their uranium enrichment program and not worry about a fictionalized production of a graphic novel, itself just one interpretation of an event that happened between 2 ancient civilizations over 2,000 years ago.

Iran has the U.S. bearing down on them, U.N. sanctions coming into play, and now the Russians have (reportedly) threatened to cut off their fuel unless they cease work on their nuclear program. This latter point most likely stems from the Russian claim that the Iranian government has been a little lax in footing the bill. Nuclear material isn't cheap you know!

Besides, we know the pirated DVD market will add many needed rials to the economy once some bootleg versions start to show up on the shelves, so perhaps 300 will end up helping the country after all! Yay capitalism!

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