Iran's state TV slams Argo as ‘CIA advertisement’

Iran's state TV slams Argo as ‘CIA advertisement’

PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran's state TV dismissed the Oscar-winning film Argo on Monday, Feb 25, as an "advertisement for the CIA" and some Iranians called the award a political statement by America for its unflattering portrayal of the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, The New York Times reported.

Tehran City Council member Masoomeh Ebtekar says the film exaggerates the violence among crowds that stormed the compound in November 1979.

Fifty-two Americans were held hostage for 444 days, but a handful of embassy staff were sheltered by the Canadian ambassador. Their escape, using a fake movie as a cover story, is recounted in Argo.

Ebtekbar insists the hostage-takers were mostly students, but other accounts suggest militants and members of the Revolutionary Guard were closely involved in the crisis.

Actor-director Ben Affleck "goes and shows scenes of a very violent and very angry mob throughout the film," Ebtekbar said. "It is never mentioned that these are a group of students."

The semiofficial Mehr news agency called the Oscar "politically motivated" because First Lady Michelle Obama, from the White House, joined Jack Nicholson via video link in Los Angeles to help present the best picture prize.

Iran's state TV called the movie "an advertisement for the CIA."

Iran's culture minister, Mohammad Hosseini, said Hollywood has "distorted history" as part of what Iranian officials call a "soft war" of cultural influence in Iran.

But retired teacher, Reza Abbasi, who saw the Revolution first-hand, said: "I know Hollywood usually changes reality to make it attractive for movie lovers, but more or less it was close to the realities then."

Others say Argo also shows the need for Iranian filmmakers to deal more with issues from the Revolution.

Iran's state-run film industry boycotted this year's Oscars in the wake of a U.S.-made Internet video clip that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad and set off protests across the Muslim world.

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