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Film to give Iranian perspective of Argo story

Argo.jpgWhile Ben Affleck's film Argo remains banned in Iran it isn't going unnoticed, in fact it seems to have gained a lot of notice and the state-affiliated Arts Bureau are developing a film called The General Staff to be directed by the Tehran-based film-maker Ataollah Salmanian which will tell the story from their perspective.

Now while Argo itself has many historical inaccuracies you can't imagine the politically motivated Iranian version will be any more accurate, and perhaps more anti-American than anything else.

Argo itself was an embellishment of the actual facts, while the story of the CIA being involved with the seemingly insane film production plan seems the falsity it wasn't, parts that were embellished for the film were all the dramatic pieces - all the Americans in once place building tension; the location visit through the busy streets, and the airport interrogation and runway chase - something I thought was rather twee about the film anyway.

While they aren't great embellishments and don't radically change the story other than creating more dramatic effect for the film they aren't exactly what happened. The BBC has a good article which features Mark and Cora Lijek who were two of the actual hostages and they talk about their experience compared to the film.

Mark Lijek likes the film and has praise for it as well as understanding the need for dramatic licence in bringing stories to the big screen, and the good thing about Argo's story is that it doesn't dramatically alter the actual events themselves. You can read more about the actual events over at the Wikipedia article.

There is still some disquiet over the film though in that there are a few things that are more than dramatic licence, for instance the issue around the British and New Zealand officials initially turned the Americans away. The Guardian has the comments from the then British Ambassador to Iran, Sir John Graham:

"My immediate reaction on hearing about this was one of outrage...I have since simmered down, but am still very distressed that the film-makers should have got it so wrong."

The Guardian also carries the counter story that Iran is now set to deliver its version of the story and their news agency Mehr the director stated:

"The film, which will be a big production, should be an appropriate response to the ahistoric film Argo...[the film] is about the 20 American hostages who were delivered to the United States by the revolutionaries"

I think it's fair to say that the Iranian film won't be a truthful retelling of the story either and while Argo was there to entertain and perhaps educate a little, the Iranian film will be there to push political messages and also educate although in a rather different mindset than that of the American version.

Would you consider watching the Iranian version of the events?



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