Sunday, March 11, 2007

300 The Movie

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."

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.
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!

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)

Achamenian soldiers:

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...


Anonymous said...

good read

Plateau said...

They say: “ignorance is bliss”.

Hollyweird is making money and they are capitalizing on loads of ignorance. I just had a look at a website where some of the stupidity is outstanding, for the center of the universe people, they thought Hollywood did the right thing getting even with Ahmadinejad by making the movie!! They simply don’t understand the difference between pre-Islamic Iran and mullah-ruled Iran. Besides, if it weren’t for Angelina Folie errr… Jolie? in “Alexander”, that Alexander movie wouldn’t have been so ‘great’ – historically speaking, of course….

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all this fuss over a movie based off of a graphic novel (comic book) written by Frank Miller. You want to know why they used Spartans and Persians? It's because the graphic novel did. You want to know why the Persians were dressed the way the were? It's because the graphic novel did. This movie wasn't meant to be historically accurate it was meant to be a direct translation from the graphic novel to the big screen just like they did with "Sin City". I don't understand why that is so hard to comprehend, heck it even says in the commercial that it is based off of Frank Miller's graphic novel and everyone knows that comics distorts all reality.

Anonymous said...

This is another attack on Iranian civilization and culture. I just wonder why payvand news gave it a positive review.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing "Uncivilized" about the Achaemenid Persians. This movie is clearly just a stupid Hollywood portrayal of an actual historical event.

What more can I say? The Greeks, admirably, respected and were at awe when it came to the Persian forces. Herodotus had a lot of praises for the way Persian civilization and culture back then
{Haha, waaaaay before that murderer Mohammad even breathed a single breath of air} conducted itself.

Indeed, Herodotus took a lot of chances by openly praising the Persians, because a lot of Greek people wound up slaughtered for being Persian supporters after the forces of Xerxes were defeated. He could of ended up executed.

But seriously, Islam is a sham, I'll say it to anybody openly, I fear nobody, for I have a body and a will just like they do, and if they wish me harm, I will wish and do it right back. But then again, so is this Pro-American attitude, which sadly my own country has adopted.

As for the movie, I will not be seeing it. I am an avid student of Archeology, Military History and general Historical accuracy. This movie has none of the above mentioned attributes, the costumes are fantastically erroneous, the story is to altruistic, and while I am proud to be European, I do not support fanaticism and any of its forms.

Excellent blog Aryamehr, I've subscribed already, I'll be reading it with great pleasure.

Vlad Chel Dachik

Anonymous said...

As stated on another blog somewhere. Where's 300 Spartans when you need them.

Come and get it!

Anonymous said...

damn zionist
holywood jews made ous as savage

Anonymous said...

It is so interesting how movies can provoke or intrigue people...
7000 Greeks and 300 Spartans stood in front of the barbaric Persian army of 300,000.
Well, I got my information from another movie, a docudrama that is supposed to be historically accurate.
About the new Hollywood movie 300... I personally do not watch 2hour long commercials.
I like movies and I do understand most movies are fictional, especially Hollywood movies. I might enjoy some of them from time to time. although the margin is growing awfully thin.
However, I can see how most people take movies as factual and some other people will be upset because of what some movies are promoting or suggesting.
What can I say? I don't even know why the majority of movies made, glorify the most retarded aspect of human history. War...
Then it happens, when you glorify something as retarded as war, you have to glorify human stupidity with it as well.
Now please do remember, historically I do believe Xerxes the king of Persia was wrong by going after revenge or for any other reason to attack another nation, but that does not make Persian people evil.
Now speaking of the docudrama I just watched. In this docudrama, which I should say was against Xerxes and pro Spartans (I think the aggressor is always evil Persian or otherwise) but it was interesting how Spartans are being described in it.
Remember, the Spartans are the saviors of democracy and freedom. They are the heroes.
Keep that in mind please, these are not my words, this actually was even mentioned in the Hollywood version as well.
Spartans would kill an unfit infant because he would have been of no use to the state. They would have abandoned the baby to starve to death.
Spartans would start to train boys as young as seven years old, make them fight more or less like psychopaths with each other and with their trainers. Full contact bare knuckle hand to hand combat with an adult twice their own size. You can imagine how much of a chance a seven year old boy has against a grown man.
Spartans would starve the young boys to make them able to fight under harsh circumstances. and also to learn how to steal. ( I have no idea what stealing has anything to do with warfare!!! )
Spartans would take the boys' individual identities away from them to make them single minded and efficient killers.
Spartans would physically torture and whip the boys to reward the one who would not break down. The family of the boys would be present to shout and scream at the boy not to pass out and endure the pain and keep the face of their family.
As they would get older, the training would just get harder, by teenage-hood they started to use weapons and some even got killed in the training.
Then to graduate, they had to strangle and kill one of their own slaves by ambushing him and not getting caught after they killed him.
Keep in mind, these are the heroes and in this docudrama they talk about all that with such pride. Heroes with no love no compassion and no compromise.
Now as the barbaric Persians? They had to learn philosophy, study knowledge and kill a lion to become a man, not to kill each other. Very barbaric, don't you think? ( Much to my surprise even this was mentioned in the docudrama. )
They say Spartans stood their ground against Persians for freedom and democracy. I understand democracy is merely the dictatorship of the majority and to be honest I could not see much of freedom by what Spartans did to their own children and their slaves. ( A nation that knew nothing but slavery to survive, now is defending freedom? )
At the end, with the loss of so many lives on both sides, Xerxes succeeds.
Now keep in mind that the same people that have learned from the same freedom and democracy which they defended, 150 years later attacked and took their revenge from Persians... more death for both sides.
The same democracy and freedom that was defended by such reptilian attitude, led us to where we are today. The corporate dictatorship. You begin to wonder what we have learned from our past.
I wish people could let go of the past and just look at themselves, the only person on this planet that we have the power to change is ourselves.
If we do not do that and just keep glorifying our own stupidity, we are heading for our own extinction, like our reptilian ancestors. There are no glory in war and war has never solved anything...
Now if you are looking for the evil, that would be the war itself and if you need a hero, you don't have to look far, just look within.
BTW, I hear a lot about this movie and how it is an adaptation from a comic book. Now it is like I write a fictional story and using factual names and places... if some organization makes a movie based on what I have written, all they are trying to do is to credit my fictional story as a fact... otherwise in an adaptation the makers of the movie have the power to change the names of the characters and the places in a way that would not collide with actuality. If they do not, therefore they are taking a comic book as factual. Imagine if I write a fictional story about a dictator by the name of Napoleon that was the leader of France and attacked England also wanting to conquer Europe. Now is that a fiction or a fact?
Be well and peace to you all

Anonymous said...

It is a pitty that Hollywood had to portray pre-Islamic Iran in a bad light


Anonymous said...

The following article refutes the anti-iranian propaganda of the film:

The 300 Savages at Thermopylae: A Response to the Hollywood Film '300'
By Dr. Samar Abbas,

Unknown said...

to anonymous re: link posted by Dr. Samar Abbas
Thank you very much, it was very educational and informative.

Anonymous said...

I think what would help the western view's ignorance of Iran is to make a countering high-budget film about the 'true Aryans' and their origins (how they came to be and everyone else - other civs - for that matter). A real high-budget, historically accurate, film as a counter measure. I bet it would open some eyes here in USA.

Anonymous said...

Sigh, it will be hard to say something that has not already been added or mentioned, but I'll try...

I honestly wanted to throw up when I saw "300" and I hate how people thought it was so damn awesome, it was really gay and stupid.

Lack of historical evidence? Duh, hoplites without armor? Those guys were just a bunch of walking and fighting abs-masters. WTF was up with their Immortals? They looked like retarded Samurai. Did I see Baphomet playing a damn pan pipe in the camp of Xerxes? Get real, it was Hollywood hocus.

Unfortunately, stupid people cant determine reality from fantasy and idolize actors and adore the movie that was based on a COMIC BOOK.

I think its funny how the Spartans were portrayed as great champions of free people when they had a huge population of slaves called Heolots AND WOULD ANNUALLY SACRIFICE A NUMBER OF THEM during a barbaric ritual called the Crypteia.

But thats not to call anybody necesarily "barbaric" per se. Barbrian is just a euphemism used to denoe someone who couldnt speak Greek, and while meant to be negative, was largely relative.
EVERYBODY in the ancient world was barbaric and cruel, lets be honest; anybody who tells you otherwise is full of it or intentionally deluded....

Interestingly, prior to Alexander III, aka "The Great" (which, BTW, is an asiatic title adopted from the Persians, hence Cyrus "the great" etc)the Greek city-states didnt even consider the Makedonians "civilized" enough to participate in their Olympics. Hmmm, ironic? Of course not, whoever makes up the made up terms determine how they get to use it, stop being naive. Of course they called the Persians, who had a far older civilization, barbaric, because the Greeks were insecure and xenophobic racists.

Lets not make the Spartans out to be villains, but lets not make them superhuman and undefeatbale either. Lets not forget that they LOST the battle of Thermopylae. Lets not forget that they lost battles to Athenians, Thebans, and Romans. At the battle of Marathon they arrived LATE. And they made an underhanded deal with the Persians in the Peloponessian war.

Some champions for "freedom", they sold out their own people.

The Oliver Stone Alexander movie did piss me off when I saw random ethnic people playing Persians, like Rosario Dawson (who is not African American as someone commented, she is actually mixed).

The Achaemenid Persian Empire was vast and multi-national and ethnic, but most people seem to not realize that ancient Iran, much lie modern Iran, is a land of Indo-European people who speak an Aryan language.

Unfortunately, most Americans are culturally ignorant and cant find Iran on a map, so dont ask them to understand the complexity of a culture thousands of years old, just give them a sand jockey in a cape and put him in the desert and they will be happy.

Fundamentally I am shocked and disgusted by how well we allow fiction to influence us, those movies were defamatory and ignorant.

Alas, there are students of history among us all who have read the books from Herodotus (who was quite biased himself) to Goldsworthy and actually know what they are talking about at least some of the time and can make a call when we see it. MY BS flag is flying high, Im waving it like hell. ><

Jonathan "Maharaja" Hernandez
Professional Amateur
PHD is Snuffaluffagistology

Timeshare Resales said...

I think its funny how the Spartans were portrayed as great champions of free people when they had a huge population of slaves called Heolots AND WOULD ANNUALLY SACRIFICE A NUMBER OF THEM during a barbaric ritual called the Crypteia.
Timeshare Resales

Timeshare Resales said...

The story is to altruistic, and while I am proud to be European, I do not support fanaticism and any of its forms.It was very educational and informative.
Timeshare Resales

San Diego MLS said...

Fundamentally I am shocked and disgusted by how well we allow fiction to influence us, those movies were defamatory and ignorant.
San Diego MLS

Dog Life Jacket said...

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.
Dog Life Jacket

Amanda said...

I have many persian friends and they felt offended by this movie! On the other side I gotta say: this is Hollywood!