300 Called an Insult to Iranians

The new blockbuster movie 300, which earned $70-million in its opening weekend, has come under fire from Iranians who claim the movie, which depicts a bloody battle between Greeks and Persians, insults their culture and feeds a growing animosity toward Iran.

Despite the fact that the movie has not, and probably never will be, released in Iran, Javad Shamghadri, cultural advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the film tries to “humiliate” Iran. Iran’s largest newspaper, Hamshahri, said 300 is “serving the policy of the U.S. leadership.”

Are you kidding me?

300 is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name which, in turn, is very loosely based on the battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 B.C. In that battle, a group of 300 Spartans faced off against a large Persian army and held it off at a mountain pass in Greece for three days. Are we really to believe that a movie, based on a graphic novel, based on a very loose and stylized representation of a historical event that took place 2,487 years ago, is supposed to be an attack on modern-day Iran and its values?

Give me a break.

54 Comments

  1. Jodi

    I agree. I don’t think Hollywood cares enough about Iran to make a movie just to depict them in a harsh light.

  2. I agree. I don’t think Hollywood cares enough about Iran to make a movie just to depict them in a harsh light.

    Exactly. To add to it the director, Zack Snyder, directed Dawn of the Dead. He’s not exactly the most politically-minded filmmaker out there. He’s already said in numerous interviews that he had no political intentions when making this film, he just wanted to make an entertaining movie for adults to enjoy. Nothing more, nothing less.

  3. Ben G.

    In all honesty, it’s virtually impossible to do anything these days without pissing off someone. That said, I completely agree with your assessment of the situation. Iranian leaders are coming at this from a completely different worldview than the rest of us, which is possibly fueling their misinterpretation and/or misjudgment of this film. I guarantee that no one who sees this movie will look at Iran in a bad (or worse) light. Also, consider that the VAST majority of the U.S. population probably wouldn’t know to associate Persia with Iran anyway ;).

  4. Iranian leaders are coming at this from a completely different worldview than the rest of us, which is possibly fueling their misinterpretation and/or misjudgment of this film. I guarantee that no one who sees this movie will look at Iran in a bad (or worse) light. Also, consider that the VAST majority of the U.S. population probably wouldn’t know to associate Persia with Iran anyway ;).

    I hadn’t considered that idea, but you’re right. With the amount of pressure the U.S. has been placing on Iran as of late (nuclear program et al), it’s no surprise that any little thing would cause Iranian officials to get hot under the collar. So far, everyone I’ve discussed the issue with has taken the exact same stance. They don’t understand how anyone could get the idea that this movie is an attack.

    I’ve been reading some reaction from Iranian bloggers and forum members on other sites and I have yet to really see a reasoned, well-thought-out argument about why this movie is so insulting. I’d be very interested to hear one.

    I’ll be honest, it took me a little bit of research to make the Iran-Persia connection myself. ;-)

  5. To me it really seems like the entire middle east culture is looking for excuses to be mad at the US, not just Iran. This is nothing new either. Remember the cries against our culture and values? Selfish, hedonistic, material americans are the devil! I remember hearing those back in the early 80s.

  6. To me it really seems like the entire middle east culture is looking for excuses to be mad at the US, not just Iran. This is nothing new either. Remember the cries against our culture and values? Selfish, hedonistic, material americans are the devil! I remember hearing those back in the early 80s.

    There are definitely extremist elements within Middle Eastern culture that are looking for excuses to decry the U.S. and its policies. However, I think painting the entire region (and culture) is unfair. Like many in Western cultures, there are plenty of people in the Middle East who really couldn’t give a flying crap about our way of life and values — they just want to get on with living their lives.

  7. Eric

    It’s a freakin comic book. I know, I know. It’s a graphic novel. But graphic novels are just thicker comic books if you ask me. And I like them so don’t yell at me.

    Comic books always exaggerate and intensify to make the story better. That’s all.

    Man, after Sin City came out, I didn’t hear any soldier hookers coming out condemning the movie.

  8. Comic books always exaggerate and intensify to make the story better. That’s all.

    I think that sums things up quite nicely.

  9. Walrus

    Sure they are overreacting, but I wonder how the U.S. would react to a movie depicting them as monsters losing a battle to some middle eastern country, or asia or whatever??

    I am sure the extreme rights of the U.S. would get angry, but it would be mellowed out by the opposite extremists. The difference with Iran is that the only voice we hear are their extremists so they always sound angry.

    I agree it’s an overreaction.

  10. […]I wonder how the U.S. would react to a movie depicting them as monsters losing a battle to some middle eastern country, or asia or whatever??[…]

    If the movie weren’t depicting a fictional story, loosely based on an event that happened well over 2,000 years ago, I would agree with you. However, how many countries/cultures have been depicted as being “monsters” in films?

    People seem to lose sight of the fact that this movie is not based on the actual historical event, it’s based on Miller’s graphic novel. If anything, the anger and resentment should be directed at him. The only reason people are complaining now is because it’s been made into a movie. When it was a graphic novel, people could’ve cared less.

    As far as I’m concerned, this was a fun, entertaining action flick. To treat it differently from the thousands of other actions movies that have depicted people in a similar manner would be pretty unfair. I mean, is anyone really concerned that ancient Persians went into battle with huge monsters and mutant elephants? It’s fiction, people.

  11. Sarah

    Can’t we just watch the movie and enjoy it! Crying out loud, its a freaking graphic novel movie by Frank Miller…Why do people have to make it into a political issue or some sort of issues that the world is facing, its LAME! Can’t we watch the movie for pleasure…

    The movie was AWESOME! The fighting was cool and there were lots of bare chested people =) I’ve been checking out trailer clips and behind the scene clips on zannel before the movie came out, and it was not a disappointment because this movie rocks! The graphics and style of the movie was probably the best part of the movie. The CGI technology is amazing! Over all, the movie kicked ass!

  12. Can’t we just watch the movie and enjoy it! Crying out loud, its a freaking graphic novel movie by Frank Miller…Why do people have to make it into a political issue or some sort of issues that the world is facing, its LAME! Can’t we watch the movie for pleasure…

    The movie was AWESOME! The fighting was cool and there were lots of bare chested people =) I’ve been checking out trailer clips and behind the scene clips on zannel before the movie came out, and it was not a disappointment because this movie rocks! The graphics and style of the movie was probably the best part of the movie. The CGI technology is amazing! Over all, the movie kicked ass!

    That was pretty much my initial reaction to seeing the story as well. “For crying out loud!” :D

  13. It was a good movie I thought. I did not even know that Iran had anything to do with Persia (maybe I should study my history a bit more).

  14. Completely with you on this one Brian, but it’s a crazy world we’re living in. :)

  15. Walrus

    If the movie weren’t depicting a fictional story, loosely based on an event that happened well over 2,000 years ago, I would agree with you. However, how many countries/cultures have been depicted as being “monsters” in films?

    My point is that I still think you would get a large reaction from any particular nation/group that was depicted as monsters in a modern day movie… regardless if it’s fiction. Although I don’t think many would object to depicting the Nazis as monsters… I’m sure it’s been done many times in comic books.

    I’m just trying to imagine a movie about Chinese killing millions of American or Canadian Monsters… or lets just say Western folk. I don’t think that would go down so well over here, even if it was based on some Chinese Mythical story…

    I’m just putting up the alternative point of view that I think it’s not totally unwarranted to get angry about this. If people are angry about the movie, than we can assume the novelist deserves more of the blame.

    This all being said, I plan on watching the movie and really don’t have a problem with it personally, looks entertaining… I just think it’s fair game to be offended by it. I’m Canadian and would be slightly offended if some movie depicted Canadians as monsters… well I would probably laugh and go watch it, but it would make me think more than once.

  16. I’m Canadian and would be slightly offended if some movie depicted Canadians as monsters… well I would probably laugh and go watch it, but it would make me think more than once.

    You’re right, of course. I suppose I just keep hoping that common sense will prevail in this world. You’d think after 21 years I’d learn otherwise. ;-)

    I suppose what really gets to me about all of this is not that people are offended — as you say, that’s bound to happen — it’s more the reaction from the Iranian government. Decrying the movie in newspapers? Calling on history experts to point out the film’s inaccuracies? People are smart enough to know what’s fiction and what’s not, even if they’re offended by the material. Especially, one would assume, government officials.

    I mean, does Javad Shamghadri really believe that 300 was an attempt by America to “compensate for its wrongdoings in order to provoke American soldiers and warmongers?” Give me a break. Common sense revolts at the idea.

    Iran can accuse the States and the west of anything it likes, but there’s more than a little propagandizing and war-mongering happening on their end as well.

  17. Walrus

    Yeah I agree fully on that perspective.

  18. Mirisha

    You actually had to do RESEARCH to “make the Iran-Persia connection”?? But that’s the beauty of the internet, isn’t it? Who needs an education? Who needs qualifications?

    You clearly have no idea what the real issues surrounding this story are, but here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with comic books.

  19. You actually had to do RESEARCH to “make the Iran-Persia connection”?? But that’s the beauty of the internet, isn’t it? Who needs an education? Who needs qualifications?

    You clearly have no idea what the real issues surrounding this story are, but here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with comic books.

    This may come as a surprise to you, but not all of us are history scholars. Yes, I (along with a few others, admittedly) had to do a little bit of research on Iranian history. It’s only human.

    If I’m so far off-base, why don’t you explain it to me? While you’re at it, you’d might as well explain the issues to every other commenter, because it would seem I’m not the only one confused by Iran’s reaction. Insulting my education serves only to weaken your argument. If you want to discuss things on an adult level, rather than resorting to petty one-liners, I welcome it. Let’s take off the kid’s gloves, shall we?

  20. While I think the fact that a country such as Iran believes there has been a possible attack on their culture is a serious matter, I can’t help but find it amusing that people seem to need a disclaimer at the beginning of movies as to whether or not they are based on true events. We’ve become accustomed to seeing “based on true events” or “inspired by a true story”, but as far as I recall neither were the case in the intro for 300 so I’m confused as to why anyone would take the movie for anything other than its face value.

    Sure they are overreacting, but I wonder how the U.S. would react to a movie depicting them as monsters losing a battle to some middle eastern country, or asia or whatever??

    I see the point you’re trying to get across, but Amercian soldiers are portrayed as just that, monsters, in many, or dare I say, most Vietnam movies. Platoon and Full Metal Jacket are great examples where American soldiers tortured civilians and were mentally ill to the point of killing their own in a war that is to date the United States biggest defeat.

  21. [..]I can’t help but find it amusing that people seem to need a disclaimer at the beginning of movies as to whether or not they are based on true events. We’ve become accustomed to seeing “based on true events” or “inspired by a true story”, but as far as I recall neither were the case in the intro for 300 so I’m confused as to why anyone would take the movie for anything other than its face value.

    That’s a great point. Many people seem to automatically believe that whatever they see in theatres or on television is real. It really speaks to the level of media literacy today.

  22. Hi Brian

    I think it’s obvious from the reactions here, that this film (which I haven’t seen but of which I’ve been hearing nothing but oohs, aahs and OMGs for the past six months) has the capacity to stir at least something.

    Films in which there are ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, in which there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ always do stir, don’t they? No one would protest against a Spanish film about laid-off workers in a seaside town trying to get on with their lives — although such a film exists.

    I wasn’t very aware of all of this, but now my curiosity is piqued — if I have the right expression.

    I don’t understand why the Iranians are so agitated exactly. Is it because the Greeks have the moral if not the military victory? Is it because the Persians are depicted as brutal and backward? I mean no offense, but I believe those may actually well have been positive traits for 5th c. BCE soldiers…

    I’m reminded of the 1964 film Zulu, in which a gang of valiant British soldiers fights off an overpowering force of Zulu warriors, and which is based on the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in 1879. I have no idea what the reactions were then, but I hear the Zulu extras were happy with the cows that were gifted to them after the shoot was over. It might be interesting to compare, though.

    Finally — I have been talking too long already — all of this does make me think but one thing: propaganda is in the eye of the beholder. If people want to perceive something in a certain manner, they will always find a way to do so.

    Cheers!

  23. Mimi

    The movie is quiet insensitive…. Sure, you can make a war movie between Spartans and Persians but stop putting one side as the morally good and the other is every inch evil. If you can’t tell with the point of view of both sides, at least try to be reasonable in portraying the villain. It’s history so please stop distorting it to satisfy comic fans.

    I’m a southeast Asian and I really felt bad seeing a short stint of Mongolians looking stupid and weak being smashed by a too-perfect European. My god, the way they made the Spartans look too perfect and other races looked inferior was too scary.

    Insensitivity…. That’s one big reason why there’s so many conflicts today.

    I hope you’re going to post it. I recognized that most of the comments posted are the ones that agree with your opinion. Be fair…

  24. The movie is quiet insensitive….

    Sure, you can make a war movie between Spartans and Persians but stop putting one side as the morally good and the other is every inch evil.

    If you can’t tell with the point of view of both sides, at least try to be reasonable in portraying the villain. It’s history so please stop distorting it to satisfy comic fans.

    I’m a southeast Asian and I really felt bad seeing a short stint of Mongolians looking stupid and weak being smashed by a too-perfect European.

    My god, the way they made the Spartans look too perfect and other races looked inferior was too scary.

    Insensitivity…. That’s one big reason why there’s so many conflicts today.

    I hope you’re going to post it. I recognized that most of the comments posted are the ones that agree with your opinion. Be fair…

    Mimi, thank you for adding your opinion to the discussion, it’s the first comment I’ve had that disagrees with my point of view and I welcome it. The only comments I delete are those that are spam, offensive, racist, etc. So far I’ve been lucky to have never had to deal with such comments.

    I understand your point of view, but how is 300 any different than movies that depict other races as being just as barbaric? Particularly works of fiction? Every race has inhuman and barbaric acts in its past, it’s inescapable. However, 300 isn’t a documentary, it’s based on a comic book.

    A friend of mine brought up the point that the movie is being narrated by a Spartan, which means the story is obviously going to be distorted in their favour. It’s being told by a solider trying to rile up his troops, so the idea that he might embellish the barbarity of the other armies isn’t so far-fetched. What do you guys think of that?

    I would also argue that the Spartans aren’t shown as being all that altruistic. Throughout the course of the film, we watch them kick messengers into a pit, discard weak babies, send their children out into the wilderness to fight wolves, rape their queen, and stab a politician in the guts. They’re definitely the heroes of the film, but I think they show a fair amount of flaws as well.

    I’m genuinely interested in hearing the other side of this debate. Thanks for posting!

  25. Mimi, thank you for adding your opinion to the discussion, it’s the first comment I’ve had that disagrees with my point of view and I welcome it.

    Well… Welcome this:

    If this were switched around and this was based on a graphic novel of Americans getting annihilated, I’m positive there would be massive up-cry. Christ, some Americans still get their knickers in a twist when they see somebody burning their flag.

    It doesn’t matter if this is function, a comic or just historically incorrect. To people that care this is a big “your ancestors were pussies!” in their faces. Again, imagine if somebody in Iran made a graphic novel of one of them going to America and detonating a load of nukes… And then it getting made into a film… You’re saying America wouldn’t mind?

    Okay that’s extreme so how about an alternate past where the American forefathers get bitchslapped? It’s hard to tell exactly what America is patriotic about, not being an American myself but you see where I’m going with that. Iran should be proud of its past because Persia gave a hell of a lot to the world.

    Given the current friction between America and Iran, I don’t see why anybody is surprised why Iran officials would be angry at this.

  26. Insensitivity…. That’s one big reason why there’s so many conflicts today.

    I would have to say the reason is not insensitivity it’s political correctness. I can’t call someone black because they might be “offended” and sue me for racism. I can’t put a Chihuahua in a Taco commercial because someone in the Mexican community might think I’m making them out to be stupid or something akin to “animals”.

    I don’t see a thing wrong with 300 and I don’t think a single apology is needed for it, or its inspiration.

    Society tells me I have to walk on eggshells around anyone who isn’t a white male on the off chance that if I fart into the wind SOMEONE will get OFFENDED.

    Sorry chica, I don’t do PC.

  27. Again, imagine if somebody in Iran made a graphic novel of one of them going to America and detonating a load of nukes… And then it getting made into a film… You’re saying America wouldn’t mind?

    IT’S A MOVIE OLI, I wouldn’t give a rats ass what any Iranian filmmaker deems worthy for print. It’s his opinions on film. BIG WHOOP.

    Given the current friction between America and Iran, I don’t see why anybody is surprised why Iran officials would be angry at this.

    So because we’re at war with radical Islam, we should avoid ANYTHING that could remotely be construed as politically insensitive?

    Horse-squeeze… won’t do it.

  28. A friend of mine brought up the point that the movie is being narrated by a Spartan, which means the story is obviously going to be distorted in their favour. It’s being told by a solider trying to rile up his troops, so the idea that he might embellish the barbarity of the other armies isn’t so far-fetched. What do you guys think of that?

    Works for me… I for one can see that as a perfectly reasonable explanation of the nature of the beast. But one SHOULD point out that due to political tensions, the Spartan in question should have been made to attend sensitivity training before being allowed to lead any troops.

  29. Okay that’s extreme so how about an alternate past where the American forefathers get bitchslapped? It’s hard to tell exactly what America is patriotic about, not being an American myself but you see where I’m going with that. Iran should be proud of its past because Persia gave a hell of a lot to the world.

    Given the current friction between America and Iran, I don’t see why anybody is surprised why Iran officials would be angry at this.

    If such a movie were made, and American officials got just as upset, I’d be sitting here writing up a quick post about how badly they were overreacting as well. I don’t claim that Iran should be ashamed of its past or that being proud of your past is a bad thing — not in the least. But getting up in arms over a work of fiction seems pretty darn silly to me.

    I’m fairly certain Zack Snyder, the director, could care less about the current friction between America and Iran. The producers could probably care less. In every single interview, Snyder has insisted that he had absolutely no political motives in making this film. All the filmmakers cared about was making an excellent film and making a ton of money from it. Nothing more, nothing less. As another commenter noted, it seems to me that applying politics to this film is just bringing your own baggage to it.

    I’m not saying I wouldn’t be upset if a movie depicted Canadians in a harsh light, but I’m smart enough to know a work of fiction when I see it. Even if the historical details of said movie were suspect, I know enough to log on to the Internet or head to my nearest library and do some research. The possibility of being offended is just something you have to accept in this world.

  30. I’m a southeast Asian and I really felt bad seeing a short stint of Mongolians looking stupid and weak being smashed by a too-perfect European. My god, the way they made the Spartans look too perfect and other races looked inferior was too scary.

    Okay, I can understand how this may make you feel bad. I even agree that it’s insensitive, but lets take a step back here. First and formost it’s a movie, not a documentary, or anything that even claims to be historically accurate. It’s been explained many times that this is a movie based on a graphic novel, which was very loosely based on what we believe happened thousands of years ago. They could have called the enemy hobbits, Klingons or Cylons and it would have been just as gory, but it wouldn’t have been true to the graphic novel, which was the whole point.

    Also, I urge you to watch some martial arts movies and honestly tell me that westerners aren’t portrayed as horribly inadequate adversaries. Every country has their own form of propaganda or self-promotion in their own movies, that’s one of the reasons you have so much pride and feel the need to defend your own ancestry. On that note I can’t think of a single movie that mentions Canada where it isn’t mocked or made fun of in some way but that doesn’t bother me. They’re movies, learn to laugh and roll with the punches or move on.

  31. Again, imagine if somebody in Iran made a graphic novel of one of them going to America and detonating a load of nukes… And then it getting made into a film… You’re saying America wouldn’t mind?

    Have you heard of the TV show “24″ because minus the graphic novel part something very similar happens and this is a show made by Americans put on Fox. What about Jericho where the whole show is based on a “nuclear holocaust” to “save the country”? These aren’t even shows made by other countries and they depict carnage and suffering in the United States and people watch and enjoy them. They’re entertainment and people are fine with it.

    I think James hit the nail on the head when he brought up political correctness. Why is everyone so afraid to speak their mind, especially in a country (the United States) that’s supposed to be the biggest supporter of free speech? We’re talking about a movie that’s full of imagination, telling a story for entertainment purposes. If people want to get bent out of shape about something why not try and prevent deaths that are happening right now, I mean, there IS a war going on.

  32. People watch and enjoy them, but in each case, the Americans end up being the heroes.

    Jericho wouldn’t be as popular if the “other side” won and was the ones being filmed.

    Personally, I loved the movie as a movie. But I can’t stand back and say that if someone made a movie about the atrocities Canadians visited on Native Americans from the perspective of Native Americans, which had Canadians portrayed as literal and figurative monsters that I wouldn’t in ANY WAY be upset.

    I know I would be.

    Even if it was based off a graphic novel that were loosely based on historic events.

    The reality is it’s Your People doing something in a movie. Something that’s despicable to you. Something that would make any self-aware and mentally competent human being sick to their stomach had it happened in real life.

    Sure, it’s fiction. But, personally, I’m not 100% sure I could wash it away as such were the tables turned.

    Does it deserve a public outcry by elected officials in newspapers? Probably not. But, then, I don’t know how I’d personally react. Especially if it were from a nation that my country were at war with. I can see how a country I was at war with, in which my country made a movie that mocked and depicted them overly barbarically and for which “graphic novel” means nothing at all (in fact, in Iranian culture, using such a medium would be with the intent of displaying GREATER TRUTH, not lesser - as in north american culture)….

    Well, I can see how such a country might confuse such a movie. And cultural sensitivity would seem to say that it’s probably best to try and show them that the movie wasn’t meant that way instead of throwing up our arms in complete shock and awe and pretending they must be the biggest idiots in the world.

    Not that you’re doing that. I’m just saying that some people are :)

    Anyways, again, loved the movie. Think the Iranians are probably being a little oversensitive and over the top… Just unsure how I’d react were the situation reversed :)

  33. david

    when did this movie become about america even?

    frank miller read stories about this battle and just thought it would be bad ass to make a comic story about it…in the 80’s, not 1 or 2 or even 10 years ago, in the 80’s.

    with that being said, it’s a fairy tale, folk lore. it’s the kind of story where if you were a greek, GREEK mind you hearing this story 30 or 40 years later, that’s how you would hear the story. it wouldn’t matter if the persians were portrayed as hell’s army, choked with freaks and gouls…they’re the bad guy in an epic folk tale aimed at showing the character of the spartans. they’re going to be portrayed as true evil.

    and whoever said that remark about imagine if there was a movie about america losing a war to some asian nation…do you think there’s been ANY movie about vietnam that portrays us as the real “winners” there? ofcourse not, those movies and this one was to make heroes of those who basically lost. and historically, the 300 lost…to the massive persian army…which heightened reality aside was still put in the movie.

  34. david

    in fact, in Iranian culture, using such a medium would be with the intent of displaying GREATER TRUTH, not lesser - as in north american culture)….

    hahahaha, you have no idea how wrong that is. unless you’re just as against israel and america as they are. check out some irani media and you’ll see this “greater truth” you seem to want to point out

  35. Seth

    Well I don’t think it’s a plan to attack persian culter but let me tell you something Iranians are very proude of the persian empire.Its all the got that seperates them from arabs & other muslims.But the movie …well its like lord of the rings but persins instead of orcs !.. I won’t say it’s politicaal but its wrong.It’s like an american civil war movie with blood thirsty northen who are all black vs. most noble & gret south. Of movie like that would be cool in many places in the world but not in north america. what do think?

  36. But the movie …well its like lord of the rings but persins instead of orcs !.. I won’t say it’s politicaal but its wrong.

    And, like Lord of the Rings, it’s a work of fiction. That’s pretty much where the validity of your comparison ends. I may not agree with Iran’s response to the film, but the Orcs (or whatever other monsters may appear) don’t represent real people or races.

    Of course, the Persians in 300 aren’t really an accurate representation of real people either.

  37. I think Iran made themselves look worse by accusing 300 of being political… watching the movie does not, for one second, make one think poorly of Iranians, and for every movie coming out of Hollywood that *could* be negative towards Iran, there are 100 others that are negative towards the USA.

  38. S.F.

    I personally was a little bit insulted at this movie, probably because I’m an Anti-racism fundamentalist lol. I’m not middle-easterner, but I am also a minority and sometimes can get very pissed at the country I was born in getting degraded.
    I mean, yeah I get it, it’s a video-game slasher movie, but do they HAVE to protray the Persians as a bunch of demonic freaks and monsters? I mean with all the political controversies going on right now do we really need another movie that degrades the middle east?
    yeah OF COURSE we all know it’s only a movie, not a documentary right? Sorry, we always underestimate the power of media-bias, we SAY it won’t affect us but truthfully speaking it does EVERYDAY, it’s called orientalism, it reinforces the imagery of West/Rest in our minds without us being aware of it.
    if you are trying to entertain us I don’t see why they couldn’t just make up their own story instead of degrading the Iranians, even if people won’t change their view on the Iranians after this movie, I bet 90% of the people cheered for the Spartans (of course!), and that’s enough to reinforce West/Rest
    And seriously, instead of spending millions on making this ridiculous video game slasher movie shouldn’t we concentrate on making the Kite Runner into a movie? hey it took what? 65 years for someone like Clint Eastwood to make a movie about WWII that tells a story from “our enemies”’s point of view, how long it will take to make a movie about what is happening right now in the middle-eastern people’s point of view?? Does anyone actually give a shit? I don’t think so. But sadly, when people don’t care, people take one step back to allow racism and hatred roam free, it’s just a sad fact.
    Of course this is all my opinion, if you enjoyed the movie, good for you.

  39. S.F.

    “I see the point you’re trying to get across, but Amercian soldiers are portrayed as just that, monsters, in many, or dare I say, most Vietnam movies. Platoon and Full Metal Jacket are great examples where American soldiers tortured civilians and were mentally ill to the point of killing their own in a war that is to date the United States biggest defeat.

    Also, I urge you to watch some martial arts movies and honestly tell me that westerners aren’t portrayed as horribly inadequate adversaries. Every country has their own form of propaganda or self-promotion in their own movies, that’s one of the reasons you have so much pride and feel the need to defend your own ancestry. On that note I can’t think of a single movie that mentions Canada where it isn’t mocked or made fun of in some way but that doesn’t bother me. They’re movies, learn to laugh and roll with the punches or move on.”

    Jeff, I see your point, but just because every country and nation has its own propaganda on promoting discrimination doesn’t make them right; I would be equally offended if I watch a martian art movie (I’m Chinese) where westerners were portrayed as idiots or monsters, yes, I understand that every artistic work has a side, but that doesn’t mean that it can only be completely one-sided, I’ve seen many movies that aren’t; The thing is, most people can’t just laugh and rool with the punches or move on, movies have enormous power on our perceptions of other cultures; of course this isn’t a problem only in the U.S, it’s everywhere, but it is a problem regardless. It is not really fair to say to people “oh you’re overreacting”, “it’s not a documentary” etc, most people know it’s “only a movie”, but please keep in mind that those people who are bothered may have known things, or have experienced things you haven’t.

  40. hey it took what? 65 years for someone like Clint Eastwood to make a movie about WWII that tells a story from “our enemies”’s point of view[…]

    Those who saw the 1970 film, Tora! Tora! Tora!, might disagree with you on that one.

  41. a persian girl

    I as an iranian and persian say that hollywood intended to insult iranians. Maybe you say it was just a movie, but what do you say about the Great Alexander,the movie that was produced one or two years ago. That one was as horrible as 300. why every few years hollywood decides to make a movie and insult to iranians, their ancestors and glorious history??

  42. I as an iranian and persian say that hollywood intended to insult iranians. Maybe you say it was just a movie, but what do you say about the Great Alexander,the movie that was produced one or two years ago. That one was as horrible as 300. why every few years hollywood decides to make a movie and insult to iranians, their ancestors and glorious history??

    That’s great and everything, but you really haven’t said much of anything, have you? Hollywood set out to insult Persians and Iranians? Explain how. Were you personally offended? Why? Coming in here and making such a glib statement is easy. Back your statements up.

  43. Rodrigo Estrada

    You must pay attention at the symbols in that movie.
    You have an Israeli Director:Zack Snyder
    You have Israel, witch the principal foe is Iran
    You have an actual US/Iran conflict, of nuclear importance.
    (Spartans represent white europe,democracy and “David vs Goliath)

    Although they are Muslim, Iran is among few Muslim countries who still teach about their former classical pre-Islamic ancestors.They know that their history didn’t start by Mohammad and they build as much museum as mosques.
    (Omitting to make movies about the Ottoman empire(part Persian), who control a great part of Europe for 500 years until 1914.They try to show to Iranian that even their ancestors loose great wars.They take the greak example.)

    Iranian share common heritage with Armenian,Azeris, Georgian and don’t have a large historical Afro community.
    (Most of the Persian actors were blacks.It’s also a twisted way to expose the sympathy Afro-Americans for Islam)

    The tradition of the veil and oriental belly dance are misunderstood in western societies.Western man see sex ,while oriental woman see grace.
    Decadent French bourgeois tourist and orientalist came back to Europe propaging a vision of eroticism of muslim woman.
    (In the movie they portray Persian woman as sex starved lesbian, Xerxes is a drag queen who want Leonidas to bend over.

    They show the Spartans as perfect, virtuous and respectful for the right of woman.
    In reality spartan woman hardly get any love or conjugal time from their male counterpart. The wedding consist for the man to kidnap a young 18 year old girl and bring her to his barrack.There ,She must ware male cloth and they shave her hair so she look like a man; she is kept only for procreation time and the spartan man have to spend more time with his male friend so he doesn’t become to effeminate.

    After 7 year old a boy never see his mother again for that same reason.

    Sparta was a misogyny state where everything was base on male society.No effeminate or weakness was allowed.No imperfection because they kill infant babies just born if they have a single weakness.

    (what a contrast with Zack Snyder’s effeminate Persians, tolerance to imperfection.)

    Every movie made by Hollywood’s deserve important attention. Why so many war movie involving war between Arab country and usa, before any real war happened(movies made during the 1980s).

    They were preparing Americans, who were still under “peace and love” influence to be psychologically ready.

    I know that O may sound alarmist but, having seen a series of Eurocentric movies like this,ie.,Troy, Alexander,Rome(HBO).I tend to think they try to place a new message on our brain.

    Maybe a preparation for things to come.This message seem to be address mostly to young white american.Spanish language is slowly eleiminate in area of new-york.I was surprise to see bilinguar russian/english information more common and many other example.Maybe its the start of a new Racist era, who knows.

  44. Dawood

    i agree to, i think americans have too read book,s and reasurch more. they dont know shit about IRAN’s empire.
    so for next time read something and than make a fucking movie.

  45. BIG DEAN

    firstly dudez who be all itz insulting iran…..dudez id be proud if my “ancestors” had an army that like owned half the world (oh yeah im english i do)……..look the way i see the persians werent sex mad as iv herd on anuva site or psychos they were cool granted i was rootin for leonidas and the 300 but thats coz they were cooler but not by much iv herd loads of its not insulting because its based off a comic thats based off something that happend 2500 years ago
    i think these guys are right and if i were iranian id be proud to have a guy who so haz the best slamm dunk ever (he like 10 foot tall) and a big scary voice lol
    nah seriously i found the story inspirational i watched it 3 times in the IMAX trust me i still get goose bumpz when he saiz spartans whats ur proffesion and they say the famouse line lol
    basically i went with my friendz in a group of 20 and we all loved it and you know what half preferd the prsianz
    so quit hatin and start apprietiatin

  46. Spike517

    well i think that they were not ment to look like this but some one thought they saw a guy with gold all on him so that is why it is in the history books. For example in history people thought there was unicorns but they could be rinos or horses. Mermaids could be dalphans. See things seem different from fall away.

  47. Alexander the normal

    Well If you look at it, nothing about a movie is fair. Nothing ever is fair. Because nothing is equal. I’m Greek and I found the portrayal of Greeks offensive. That snake that rapes the queen and those gross profits…And all of a sudden I’m supposed to have a perfect body because every other Greek man seems to…Oh wait It’s a movie. I think the Persian Immortals were Awesome. The Spartans were shown as un-tactical and too egger to die. I think the real Spartans survived the first wave in real life was because of their heads not their silencing of the battle leading to a super human push. I’m pretty sure in real life they didn’t fight the Persians using ‘the Matrix’ either. Did I like the movie? Hell yeah. It was an awesome example of artistic expression. So what, someone had to be the antagonist. British people were offended by the movie braveheart, do you know who cared? Nobody because the English get bashed all the time but their sence of humor is so advanced they can take it. Just because someone wanted to imagine the perfect army (in their mind), and base it on a real event so retards could follow the plot, doesn’t mean they were trying to offend someone. And if they did, Good. because you’ll be offended your whole life. It’s part of life. Oh how life is so hard.

  48. Big Dean

    Well If you look at it, nothing about a movie is fair. Nothing ever is fair. Because nothing is equal. I’m Greek and I found the portrayal of Greeks offensive. That snake that rapes the queen and those gross profits…And all of a sudden I’m supposed to have a perfect body because every other Greek man seems to…Oh wait It’s a movie. I think the Persian Immortals were Awesome. The Spartans were shown as un-tactical and too egger to die. I think the real Spartans survived the first wave in real life was because of their heads not their silencing of the battle leading to a super human push. I’m pretty sure in real life they didn’t fight the Persians using ‘the Matrix’ either. Did I like the movie? Hell yeah. It was an awesome example of artistic expression. So what, someone had to be the antagonist. British people were offended by the movie braveheart, do you know who cared? Nobody because the English get bashed all the time but their sence of humor is so advanced they can take it. Just because someone wanted to imagine the perfect army (in their mind), and base it on a real event so retards could follow the plot, doesn’t mean they were trying to offend someone. And if they did, Good. because you’ll be offended your whole life. It’s part of life. Oh how life is so hard.

    yeah dude u made a good point
    except that the english werent botherd by brave heart the scotish were because in actuall events the princess was like 4 when william wallace was around so if the movie was to be correct they are callin him a peado (as the stand up comedian stuart lee points out)
    what im sayin is like what ur sayin except i was like piss drunk at the time of typin
    but u make the point better “bravo”
    oh and i agree the movie did make me wander if the greeks were all six packed up if u know what i mean

  49. hehehehehe!God i think wat u guys r talkin abt is stupid n it doesn’t get ina roll, lol. u guys don’t know wat u talkin abt. dat movie “300″ was derived from da BIBLE, why i’m i sayin dat cuz da BABYLONIANs were once rulin da world n it came to a point dat da PERSIAS gat to rule n it was rite now it was da tune for da GREEKS to rule; so the reason why the GREEKS lost da war is dat they took only a few sodiers and thats is a fact Olden days persians and morden days iranians are all stupid people.If u doubt me ask me why?

  50. i agree to, i think americans have too read book,s and reasurch more. they dont know shit about IRAN’s empire.
    so for next time read something and than make a fucking movie.

    man u dam stupid ass BIG FOOL u don’t know shit abt wat ya sayin mother fucker. do u know how to read ABCD. go back n learn how to speak good english. noooooooobless noob

  51. i havnt read any coments above
    and sadely to say i found the movie funny
    and all this crap of a sex crazed maniac who thinks hes a good.lol
    if you were thought as god what would you do with the power sake
    everyguys like that they would do it
    plus the tranny looking 10 ft guy was really funny the fact he thinks hes imortal and cries that he got his cheek cut lol thats funny and he just looks weird.

    so sure the what ever they are now persians got pissed
    they dont wanna look like 10 ft trannys
    and am sure the persian soilders got scared the only thing they had was numbers nothing else they probs took most of middle east because people god scared shitless of being attacked by 1million men or more sake

    so really they should just enjoy a great movie with the fighting and not pay attention to a tranny looking idiot who thinks hes god

    and the story was very accurate cause hes was thought as 10 ft tall and his voice lol was so deep and gay

    and plus the tactics the spatans used would deffo work

    just look at them at the iron gate

    first row get there sheilds locked

    second row pushed speers through to persians

    first row smashes them with sheilds take scim and stabs persians

    second row moves forward to lock sheild so first row gets a rest it always works

    and the persian were cowards

    they did use there bows more than swords or speers

    they figured the bows would wipe the spartans out and the sheild were like 50 pound in wait so am sure they could have survived it

    while the only trained troops persia had was imortals who really were freaks who only knew how to fight and the guy with blade hands am sure that was in silent hill or resident evil ive saw him before or ghost master

  52. WOW!!!

    Omg,
    These directors do not care enough to be offensive. In this movie, the Spartans were against the Persians. Spartans=good Persians=bad. That does not mean that they really are bad! Are u people retarded? The movie is in Spartas favor so of course. They make the bad guys(persian(in movie)look bad!)DUH!!!!The people who find this material offensive are taking it to seriously. It was just supposed to appeal to young teens (who like violence) and a be blockbuster hit. they made the movie to make money not to offend people. Big monsters with knives for arms, immortals deamons….HELLO hollywood! people! special effects. not real you idiots.

  53. WOW!!!

    The only thing wrong with that movie is they did not show the hotties abes as much as they should. I LOVED THAT MOVIE!!!! Along with Gerard Butlers awesome ass, the movie was GREAT!!!! The people who are get all “that is a outrage of a movie!!” and ” That is like soooo offensive!” are acting like you have stick up your asses. Lighten up!!!

  54. seondo

    omg lol stick up there arses ov lol they cant take fact that they are shit arsed cowards lol

One Trackback

  1. […] While westerners are genuinely enjoying the film, it seems that middle eastern culture is not so impressed and in some cases just downright angry. Blogger Brian Gilham discusses how Iranians consider 300 to be an insult to their culture. The full article, written by him, with plenty of discussion can be found here. […]

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