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Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony Archive » 300 Versus 70 Million Iranians (Page 1)
Author Topic: 300 Versus 70 Million Iranians
Dancing Sparrow
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Article In Time.com


quote:
All of Tehran was outraged. Everywhere I went yesterday, the talk vibrated with indignation over the film 300 — a movie no one in Iran has seen but everyone seems to know about since it became a major box office surprise in the U.S. As I stood in line for a full hour to buy ajeel, a mixture of dried fruits and nuts traditional to the start of Persian new year festivities, I felt the entire queue, composed of housewives with pet dogs, teenagers, and clerks from a nearby ministry, shake with fury. I hadn't even heard of the film until that morning when a screed about it came on the radio, so I was able to nod darkly with the rest of the shoppers, savoring a moment of public accord so rare in Tehran. Everywhere else I went, from the dentist to the flower shop, Iranians buzzed with resentment at the film's depictions of Persians, adamant that the movie was secretly funded by the U.S. government to prepare Americans for going to war against Iran. "Otherwise why now, if not to turn their people against us?" demanded an elderly lady buying tuberoses. "Yes, truly it is a grave offense," I said, shaking my own bunch of irises.

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I returned home to discover my family in a similar state of pique. My sister-in-law sat behind her laptop, sending off an e-mail petition against the film to half of Tehran, while my husband leafed through a book on the Achaemenid Empire, noting that Herodotus had estimated the Persian army at 120,000 men, not one million as the film claimed. The morning newspaper lay on the table with the headline "300 AGAINST 70 MILLION!" (the population of the country). It was echoed by the evening news: "Hollywood has opened a new front in the war against Iran."

The timing of the computer-generated film, which depicts the ancient confrontation of Sparta and the Persian empire at the Battle of Thermopylae, is certainly inauspicious. It falls on the eve of Norouz, Persian new year, a time when Iranians typically gather in proud celebration, observing rites that date back over 3,000 years, way before Islam, to the age of Zoroastrianism, when their ancient land produced the world's first monotheistic religion. It is not a particularly welcome season to be portrayed as pillaging, deranged savages. Since the entire country will be on two weeks of official holiday, there will be no shortage of time to sit about discussing the slight and what it portends for Iran's current confrontation with the United States. For a people prone to conspiracy logic, the box office success of 300, compared with the relative flop of Alexander (another spurious period epic dealing with Persians) is cause for considerable alarm, signaling ominous U.S. intentions.

While the hullabaloo over 300 may dampen Iranians' holiday spirits, it offers common cause between people and their estranged government. Top officials and parliament have scorned the film as though it were a matter of state, and for the first time in a long while, taxi drivers are shaking their fists in agreement when the state news comes on. Agreeing that 300 is egregious drivel is fairly easy. I'm relatively mellow as Iranian nationalists go, and even I found myself applauding when the government spokesman described the film as fabrication and insult. Iranians view the Achaemenid empire as a particularly noble page in their history and cannot understand why it has been singled out for such shoddy cinematic treatment, as the populace here perceives it, with the Persians in rags and its Great King practically naked. The Achaemenid kings, who built their majestic capital at Persepolis, were exceptionally munificent for their time. They wrote the world's earliest recorded human rights declaration, and were opposed to slavery. Cuneiform plates show that Persepolis was built by paid staff rather than slaves And any Iranian child who has visited Persepolis can tell you that its preserved reliefs depict court dress of velvet robes, and that if anyone was wearing rags around 500 B.C., it wasn't the Persians.

It is going to take an act of foolhardy courage to distribute that film in Iran. It will truly be 70 million against 300.

....ummm, did someone not tell them that it is a fictional story?

[ 03-14-2007, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: Dancing Sparrow ]

From: Over Yonder *points south* | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Mahanaxar
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I thought this was hillarious when I heard about it this morning. It's like those people will use any excuse to get angry at the US.

It's not like the Iranians are even Persian anyway after thousands of years of migrating and intermixing.

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Roll of Honor Mahanaxar
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6446183.stm

The news article in case anyone cares.

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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There's no exact parallel because Americans don't have an ancient culture, but if we did and our sworn enemy produced a movie that appeared to demean it, you can bet that there'd be plenty of outrage here.

You don't really think we have fewer yahoos per capita than other places, do you?

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Amárië
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quote:
You don't really think we have fewer yahoos per capita than other places, do you?
Personally, I would say we have more... []

[ 03-14-2007, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

From: Mishawaka, IN | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Mahanaxar
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Yahoos sure, but this is their very government making a public outcry against a movie.
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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The yahoo concentration ratio increases dramatically when you enter the public sector.

E: Here, as there, I'd guess.

[ 03-14-2007, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Amárië
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Don't get me started about yahoos in the American government... []
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Roll of Honor Mahanaxar
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I suppose that was bait for some of you....

But you can see what I'm getting at. I'm willing to bet that 75% of Americans don't even know where ancient Persia was on a map. Clearly they're overreacting.

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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You lost me. What does our ignorance concerning ancient Persia have to do with their alleged outrage over this movie?
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Amárië
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Seriously, I don't think you're understanding what's going on from an Iranian perspective. To us, from a Western Perspective, it may appear that they're overreacting. Iran, however, has seen itself as fighting off Western threat for hundreds of years, and sees this as yet another attempt to attack them.

[ 03-14-2007, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

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Roll of Honor Mahanaxar
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Whatever. I just think it's silly that they're under the impression that 300 was government-funded psychological warfare.
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Amárië
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Think whatever you like.

You have that right, and so do they.

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Roll of Honor Mahanaxar
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Maha - OK I see. The Iranians don't realize that our government professes to hate Hollywood because they're at the center of the great liberal-secular-homosexual conspiracy. Maybe we should send Bill Donohue over there to enlighten them.

E: Have we derailed this thread sufficiently yet? []

[ 03-14-2007, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Gna
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Mahanaxar -

quote:
It's not like the Iranians are even Persian anyway after thousands of years of migrating and intermixing.
Actually, I don't think you get to decide that.
From: Andustar | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Snowman of Forochel
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Iran just doesn't realize how rich they're going to make everybody associated with the production of this movie! Not that it needed any help, but I just love the irony. This is so laughable.

Keep on cryin Iran, cry louder and louder. []

And this thread is going to grow leaps and bounds! DS knew it would happen. WT and Amarie just added fuel to the fire!

I love it! []

[ 03-14-2007, 06:16 PM: Message edited by: Snow Wizard ]

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Roll of Honor pi
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So with Gna's link we see the US has the 2nd largest population of Persians/Iranians in the world. Who knew?

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The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.

From: Virgo Supercluster, 40º N 75º W | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Snowman of Forochel
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They love America.
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Roll of Honor pi
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hmm, perhaps like many countries, it is more of a love-hate kind of feeling.

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The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Er, is the population of Iran really 70 million, I thought it was more like 30 million.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grimwulf Stormspear
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Amárië writes:
●●●●● Seriously, I don’t think you're understanding what's going on from an Iranian perspective. To us, from a Western Perspective, it may appear that they're overreacting. Iran, however, has seen itself as fighting off Western threat for hundreds of years, and sees this as yet another attempt to attack them. ●●●●●

I’m not really an expert on Iranian social history, but I’m not sure that Iran has viewed itself as defending itself against the West until relatively recently. The Islamic world generally saw itself as spreading the faith of the Prophet until it absorbed Western anti-colonial attitudes.

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

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Roll of Honor Thorongil
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Yeah well, they are partly right. The movie was pathetic, and dressing the mighty Ahasuarus in nothing but a bunch of metal rings, with no beard, was just rediculous. Not that it had anything to do with hating Iran, but of course from their perspective, where the government controls the media almost totally, it is no wonder that they think it does.

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If you've come for a visit, you'd be welcome with fewer, if you've come to take me away, you'll need a lot more.
I'm a denizen. Athene said so.

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Roll of Honor Snowman of Forochel
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quote:
the mighty Ahasuarus
The mighty who? What?
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Talan
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[as Talan was unable to delete this post (only forum leaders may delete posts??), he'll just have to leave you guessing until he's awake enough to decide whether he should have posted what he posted in the first place. Good night.]

[ 03-15-2007, 02:38 AM: Message edited by: Talan ]

From: Austin, TX. Home of awesome. | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony Archive » 300 Versus 70 Million Iranians (Page 1)
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