Iran outraged by Hollywood war epic

The war of words and rhetoric from Iran continues. I doubt this will do any good to convince liberals in Hollywood that they are the enemy. But I’ll just remind you that I referenced this concept here about a month ago.

Iran outraged by Hollywood war epic – Yahoo! News

TEHRAN (AFP) – War epic “300”, a smash hit in the United States for its gory portrayal of the Greco-Persian wars, has drawn the wrath of Iranians for showing their ancestors as bloodthirsty “savages”.

The press, officials and bloggers have united in denouncing the film as another example of “psychological warfare” against Tehran by its American arch enemy at a time of mounting tension over its nuclear programme. “Hollywood declares war on Iranians,” said the headline in the reformist daily Ayandeh-No of the film which tells the story of the 300 Spartan soldiers fighting off ancient Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae.

“It seeks to tell people that


, which is in the Axis of Evil now, has for long been the source of evil and modern Iranians’ ancestors are the ugly murderous dumb savages you see in ‘300’,” fumed the paper on its front page.

A cultural advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the film as “American psychological warfare against Iran.”

“American cultural officials thought they could get mental satisfaction by plundering Iran’s historic past and insulting this civilization,” Javad Shamaghdari told semi-official Fars news agency.

Three MPs in the Iranian parliament have also written to the foreign ministry to protest to the production and screening of this “anti-Iranian Hollywood film”.

The film has already proved a major box office hit in the United States and, unsurprisingly, Greece.

It is highly improbable the film would ever be screened in the Islamic republic but contraband DVDs of the latest American movies are often available on the streets no sooner that they are internationally released.

Cyber savvy Iranians have already started online petitions and set off “Google bombs” against “300”.

The furore over “300” is by no means the first time Iran has been left fuming over Western portrayals of its ancient history.

Iranians were also enraged by the 2004 epic ‘Alexander’ about the conquest of the Persian Empire and a notorious 2005 British newspaper review of an exhibition of antiquities which branded ancient Persia the “Evil Empire”.



  1. um. You could not find 300 Americans who even equate Persia with Iran. Few people who went to see that movie in the US have any idea that Persians have an existing counterpart in present times. The idea that it’s propoganda gives too much credit to American understanding of history. If it was a ploy to turn americans against Iranians the film makers certainly missed the mark. It’s an action movie. A CGI action movie so exaggerated as to be tantamount a superhero film. It’s not political. People are giving it way too much credit in that department.

  2. This is what I would call taking something out of context.

    “300” is based on a GRAPHIC NOVEL (comic) that was written/drawn on 1998 by Frank Miller. The movie actually follows the novel page by page from beginning to end (including clothing).

    1998 was a while before all the “Axis of Evil” was denominated, before 9/11 and the war in Irak.

    Its funny “respected” writers from magazines such as Time dont make their research… where did you get your credentials? in a cerial box?

  3. The Iranian populace is all befuddled over an action flick — calling it propaganda to be used as a justification for war.

    Perhaps – as an earlier post-er commented – the average U.S. Citizen is pretty clueless on other countries history, cultures and values … but it’s interesting to see that the average Iranians Citizen, is just as clueless about the U.S. culture as well.

    “300” as “American psychological warfare against Iran” … yeah, right. I’m sure all those movie-goers are all racing from the theater to their local army, navy, air-force and marines recruitment offices, to enlist at this very moment.

    Give me a break….

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