The movie "300" is a film adaptation of the graphic novel "300" by Frank Miller about the Battle of Thermopylae. Now from what i've understood the movie is not supposed to be a "historically accurate" movie but rather something more "fantasy/fictional like". Now my bewilderment is if it's supposed to be "fantasy/fictional like" then why is there a "Greek" and a "Persian" army in the movie as these armies sure aren't "fantasy characters" that do not exist.
If the movie is not supposed to be historically accurate and is supposed to be more of a "fantasy" movie then why have the directors of the movie not make it into something like the "Lord of the Rings" movie with fictional "people" fighting each other. As it is now they have made a movie where they portray one group of people (Greeks) superior/civilized and another (Persians) inferior/savages - how can this be interpreted as fantasy/fiction?? This is nothing but distorting history and demonizing an entire group of people. This is the same old story as in the movie "Alexander" in which Persians where depicted as savages! The Persian Queen was played by an African-American which came as a shock to any Iranian who watched that movie! In this recent movie the Persian King is presented as an Africanized/Gay individual with body piercings all over! Now how humiliating is that! It's wrong to mis-portray people in this way which will only increase the already existing mis-perceptions about peoples which westerners might know little of!
It's a real shame how the media and film companies like Warner Bros can distort history and portray such a noble and glorious Empire like the Persian Empire as one inhabited by monstrous, blood-thirsty, savages!
This below criticism found on wikipedia pretty much covers the controversy over how the movie portrays Persians leaving aside other historical in-accuracies such as the ludicrous claims of "1 million Persians against 300 Spartans"! Even other "historical" estimates of 100,000's is far-fetched as nobody could possibly have estimated the size of such a force thousands of years ago!
Much respect to the Greek critic below who has kept his objectivity intact:
The film has attracted controversy over the portrayal of the Persians. Greek critic Dimitris Danikas claimed the film showed Persians as "bloodthirsty, underdeveloped zombies," and went on to say, "They are stroking (sic) racist instincts in Europe and America." The president of Iran's Art Affairs Advisory also expressed strong condemnation over the movie which he said insulted the Persian civilization. Javad Shamqadri, who is also a filmmaker, said the film specifically had racist intentions but called the film's effort fruitless however, saying, "values in Iranian culture are too strongly seated to be damaged by such plans."This site : "300 the movie info" is trying to compile an art project featuring "Ancient Persia" to counter the terribly inaccurate depiction made by this so-called fictional movie that will surely contribute in widening existing mis-understandings and lack of knowledge amongst non-Iranians!
As in the graphic novel, the Persians are depicted as a barbaric and demonic horde. The androgynous depiction of the Persian emissary and King Xerxes is meant to stand in stark contrast to the masculinity of the Spartan army. Xerxes is presented as an Africanized “God-king”, an allusion to the status of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. The ancient Persian kings did not present themselves as deities.
The outfits and headgear of the Persian infantry lend themselves more to the stereotypical garments of medieval Arabian and Islamic attire than to the ancient garb of the Persian army, while the elite Immortals have been given an East Asian guise.
Along with references to slavery, mysticism and depictions of hyper-sexuality, the Persians become the vehicle for an anachronistic cross-section of Western stereotypes of Asian and African cultures.
Lastly to have an accurate picture of how Persian forces looked like at the time of the Achamenid Empire you can have a look at my photobucket page on ancient Iranian soldiers (although this page has soldiers covering all of Iran's dynasties and is not limited to the Achamenid period)
UPDATE 1: An official of the terrorist Islamic Republic occupying Iran has "lashed out at the Hollywood Movie "300" for insulting Persian Civilization" ; now someone should tell this Islamist filth that what is an even greater to "Persian Civilization" is him and his barbaric and anti-Iranian "Islamic Republic" occupying Iran! How this monkey can go public and complain about this movie with no shame is beyond me...