Source: The HAND Foundation
Argo, the box office hit and Oscar award winning film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, has caused a stir in the Iranian American community. Scores of articles by Iranian and non-Iranians have been published questioning the film’s historical accuracy and its portrayal of Iranians. Criticisms were raised about the lack of subtitles during critical dialogue exchanges, transforming CIA operatives into heroes despite their negative role in Iran’s political turmoil of the 20th century, diminishing Canada’s role in the rescue operation (former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with Piers Morgan last week said the Canadians deserved 90 percent of the credit), and, among many others, altering history by making the rescue operation appear as a major event of the hostage crisis.
Ben Affleck in a scene from Argo
Iranian Americans are not the only diaspora community writing about Argo. The Latino community has rallied against the film’s casting, concerned that Ben Affleck was cast as Tony Mendez. The success ofArgo, fellow Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty, and the two-time Emmy winning Showtime dramaHomeland, has brought the spotlight back on Hollywood’s stereotypical portrayal of nonwhite characters. The outpouring of criticism by Iranian Americans and the Latino community is an example of the important role diaspora communities play in shaping their own narratives on the big screen.
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