Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, March 13, 2021

Appropriately Spartan-like, the movie 300 gained a number of improbable achievements upon opening in theaters this weekend:

- It debuted at No. 1 in the box office, despite sporting no recognizable Hollywood star power and carrying a usually audience-limiting R-rating;

- It raked in $70 million, a record for a March movie release;

- And best of all, it’s raised an international ruckus, with Iranian politicians and intelligensia branding its negative portrayal of ancient Persians as an American act of “psychological warfare”.

Daily newspaper Ayandeh-No carried the headline “Hollywood declares war on Iranians”.

The paper said: “It seeks to tell people that Iran, 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.”

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

Hey, maybe if Xerxes wasn’t so full of himself, today we’d be celebrating Greece’s 2,500th anniversary as a satrapy. Them’s the breaks.

The propaganda plot is an intriguing theory. Too bad the average geographically-ignorant American probably doesn’t realize that Iran used to be called Persia, therefore blunting the effectiveness of any such social brainwashing. As it is, it’ll probably mean that the tourism boost that modern-day Sparta is banking on from the film won’t include many charter flights of Iranian visitors…

And as for that alternate, Iranian-friendly title, referring to the one-million strong Persian forces that descended upon Thermopylae: As with most such numbers from antiquity, it’s greatly exaggerated.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/13/2007 11:26:50 PM
Category: Political, Movies, History | Permalink |

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