Argo an 'Inaccurate Impression' of Iran

Captured hiker Sarah Shourd weighs in on Ben Affleck movie
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2012 1:14 PM CDT
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Bryan Cranston, left, as Jack O’Donnell and Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in "Argo," a rescue thriller about the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.   (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Claire Folger)

(Newser) Argo, the new Ben Affleck film loosely based on the true story of six Americans who were rescued from Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, features incredible cinematography and acting—but it offers an "incomplete, and at times inaccurate, impression" of Iran, writes Sarah Shourd for the Daily Beast. Shourd, who was herself rescued from Iran after 410 days in captivity, first takes issue with the two-minute Iranian history lesson that opens the movie, which contains at least one error. But her problems with the film go beyond that.

Perhaps the most important character in the film is an Iranian maid who works at the Canadian ambassador's residence, where the six Americans are hiding. She ultimately figures out who they are—and in a pivotal moment, she lies to the Revolutionary Guard in order to protect them. "This is the side of Iran that Americans need to see, particularly in a film depicting a CIA intervention in Iran," Shourd writes, but the maid is given little screen time. Today, as the US threatens military action against Iran, Americans need to see that such action "would no doubt result in the death of innocent Iranians," Shourd writes. "Now, more than ever, it’s important for Americans to understand the difference between the majority of Iranians and this cruel, Machiavellian regime that holds their country hostage." Click for her full piece.

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