After “Argo” won Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday, it was dismissed as “an advertisement for the CIA” by Iran’s state TV on Monday. Some Iranians said that the award was more of a political statement than an actual reflection of the quality of the film.
“Argo” has not appeared in any Iranian cinemas, but the movie has made its way into the country through bootleg DVD networks.
It seems as if some of the differing opinions in Iran about the film may be based on generational lines. Iranians who took part in the 1979 Islamic revolution have taken exception with the portrayal of the events in “Argo,” whereas those from younger generations have not had the same reaction.
During the film, there is a scene where Iranian students storm the U.S. embassy. Tehran City Council member Masoomeh Ebtekar was one of the students who participated in that event. She also served as the Iranian students' spokeswoman. Ebtekar says the film exaggerates the violence among crowds that stormed the compound in November 1979.
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According to CBS News, Ebtekbar said that actor-director Ben Affleck “goes and shows scenes of a very violent and very angry mob throughout the film. It is never mentioned that these are a group of students.” Some accounts suggest that although there were students in the mob at the embassy, militants and members of the Revolutionary Guard were also involved.
Iranian newspaper Hamshahri said the movie “targeted the culture and civilization of Iran,” but that it was still worth seeing. “Iranian audiences are seeing a new version of the events for the first time,” wrote a commentator in the newspaper. “This has been a weak point for our TV and cinema.”
Some were critical of the movie for different reasons. “In my opinion, it's a nice movie from technical aspects and it was on the scale of Hollywood movies, but I don't think it was worth a nomination for Oscar and other awards,” said movie fan Mohammad Amin Sharifi.
Source: (CBS News)