Friday, January 11, 2013

Iran To Produce Film To Counter Ben Affleck's "Argo"

Ben Affleck's film "Argo", which has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, has been getting a lot of well deserved hype. As most everyone knows, the film is a loosely based recreation of an event that occurred during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis whereby six diplomats- who somehow managed to escape the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran- were given safe haven by Canadian diplomats (including Ambassador Ken Taylor) for three months, and were then rescued by CIA agent Tony Mendez. The plan was pretty ingenious and incredibly ballsy:

Tony Mendez, along with another CIA operative, flew into Tehran to rescue Robert Anders, Cora Amburn-Lijek, Mark Lijek, Joseph Stafford, Kathleen Stafford and Lee Schatz, by creating an elaborate ruse: a film crew on a location search for their sci-fi film "Argo". It worked.

However, it seems Iran is not too happy with how the events are portrayed in Affleck's film, so they've decided to do a movie of their own to set the record straight.

Tehran’s proposed film entitled “The General Staff” will be directed by Ataollah Salmanianis, according to The New York Times.  [Snip]

“This film, which will be a huge production, should be an appropriate answer to the film “Argo,” which lacks a proper view of historical events,” The New York Times quoted Salmanian saying in an interview with Iran’s semiofficial Mehr news agency.

Officials in Tehran dismissed Affleck’s movie after its release in October as anti-Iranian. To promote their ideology, Iranian leaders have started several foreign-language satellite channels.

Ken Taylor, the Canadian Ambassador who was instrumental in getting the six US diplomats out of Tehran, said of the decision:

“I’m not sure what the Iranians found wrong.”  “It will be amusing to see what they take issue with. I think the Iranians know the true story of the Canadian involvement.”

52 Americans were held hostage at the US Embassy for 444 days, six escaped thanks to Tony Mendez and his "Argo" scheme. Indeed, it will be very interesting to see what the Iranians deem a "proper view of historical events."

For some reason, Affleck was snubbed for a Best Director nod by the Academy.

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