Argo discussed in Iran

Political and film authorities in Iran evaluate Oscar-winning Argo as a disguised propaganda tool for the United States and the CIA.

Argo discussed in Iran

Abdulla Rexhepi

Iran is recognized as a society which attaches great importance to cinema. Iranian films and filmmakers continue to win major international awards, and last year Iranian film "A Separation" was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. After the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran became an important key word in Hollywood cinema. America also continues to utilize Hollywood as a channel beyond diplomacy for the application of pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Among the issues Hollywood deals with most is the taking hostage of U.S. Embassy personnel during the revolution, and their experiences. So far a large quantity of feature films and documentaries focusing on this event has become available in the West.

As is known, this year’s Best Film Oscar went to Ben Affleck’s film Argo. This movie focuses on the story of the American hostages in Iran. Due to Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, as well as Lincoln and Django Unchained, this year’s award ceremony was dominated by a political atmosphere.

In Iran, film critics close to the regime are commenting on how the United States is using Hollywood as a propaganda tool against Iran. Many critics claim that the CIA is utilizing Hollywood to denigrate and smear the image of Iran in the international arena, and to create hatred against the current regime. The presentation of the Best Film award by United States First Lady Michelle Obama was the utmost point to which “political influence” could have gone. This situation has resulted in the Iranian political and cinema authorities developing more arguments against Hollywood.

One of Iran’s prominent directors Nadir Talibzade stated in his interpretation of the film Argo, "The CIA is currently having a major crisis, and is using Hollywood in order to portray itself as powerful and influential.” He added that “even Obama said that AlJazeera television had been more influential than [the US] in the Tunisia and Egyptian revolutions.”

Iranian state television commented that Argo is merely an “advertisement” for the CIA and has “no artistic value.” Criticizing Hollywood for its “historical distortion,” Iran's Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini stated that Argo is a production with a “political purpose.”

The English edition of the Iranian Hemsehri newspaper described Argo as “an attack on Iran's culture and civilization” while criticizing Iranian filmmakers for not having made a movie about the American hostages to date.

Iran's Art Bureau expressed its plan to produce, in response to Argo, a film about the “Canadian Caper,” the joint covert operation conducted in 1980 under CIA-Canada partnership for the escape of six American diplomats.

During this year’s Iranian film industry awards ceremony, the American film insulting the Prophet Muhammad was protested and boycotted.

Source: Center for Iranian Studies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Mart 2013, 13:27