So it turns out the Iranian government, the logical, notoriously level-headed Iranian government, who recently pulled all Iranian films out of the Oscars because of the not-at-all-connected-to-the-Oscars-or-the-US-government film Innocence of Muslims, isn’t too thrilled about Ben Affleck’s Argo, which depicts a group of Americans on the run from that same Iranian government. Who could’ve guessed it, am I right?
Inside Iran, where the decision by a group of Iranian students to storm the US Embassy and hold Americans hostage for 444 days is still controversial and vibrantly debated, the press has paid Argo scant attention. The few comments the film has received are generally negative – Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency called Argo “Hollywood’s latest failed attempt to confront the Islamic Revolution” – and replete with complaints that the movie portrays all Iranians as stereotypically aggressive and unrefined and fails to give viewers enough historical context.
Divorced of historical context, the story is mainly about a group of Americans trying to escape a blood-thirsty Iranian mob trying to kill them, but the movie does offer a nice, quick history lesson at the beginning as to why the Iranians of 1979 were rightly pissed at America (overthrowing a democratically elected leader, supported a brutal dictator so we could keep stealing their oil, etc). Though the movie does fail to depict a key moment in the Argo story, when the Americans escaping the embassy were tipped off by an Iranian good Samaritan who helped them avoid a mob. The movie glosses over that moment, which would’ve been a nice, fair way to not depict Iranians as a violent, monolithic mob. And you don’t want to depict an entire ethnic group as all being the same, that kind of thinking is downright Puerto Rican.
“Argo makes the people of Iran look like they have no self-determination, and indisputably support violence,” writes Meysam Karimi in a lengthy review for the popular Iran-based film magazine website, Moviemag. “For me, as an Iranian … this makes [the storyline behind] Argo much less believable.”
Hmm, that’s a basic negative review. Do you have anything in an outlandish conspiracy theory?
Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency labels Argo “anti-Iranian” and painted the film as a flop. Citing unidentified “news agencies,” it asserted that Argo only managed to reach second place in the US and Canada because the filmmakers artificially boosted sales by purchasing tickets “en masse” and giving them away for free to random people.
Argo “was unable to become a box office hit in spite of considerable advertisement,” Fars wrote. “The filmmakers tried very hard and used a variety of methods to increase ticket sales, but they were unsuccessful. … Even though ‘Taken 2’ was in its second week, Argo still couldn’t beat it to first place in the box office … due to a lack of interest among its own [North American] audience.” [Yahoo]
A FAILED CONSPIRACY TO BOOST TICKET SALES! Why, I never considered that. But America truly is a land rife with shady conspiracies designed to keep the Muslim down. Gosh, I wonder if the Jews had anything to do with it.