According to this story from the Associate Press, Iran’s Mission to the United Nations is outraged by the depiction of the Persians and the new film 300.
“Indeed, the movie’s distorted fabrications about the Persians cannot be isolated from the current concerted efforts by certain Western interest circles to systematically demonize the Iranian nation,” a statement from the mission said.
The film “fails to convey a bare minimum truth about Iranian history,” the statement said, denouncing the “crude demonization of Persians as the embodiment of evil, moral corruption.”
The film touched a nerve in Iran even though it will probably never open there because of the government’s restrictions on Western films. The cultural adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced it, state-run television ran several commentaries calling the film insulting and Iranian film directors have pointed to its historical inaccuracies.
The comments by the Iranian Mission are not entirely without merit, and the timing of the film is touchy with everything happening between Iran and the US and Britain as well as the larger War on Terror. This is one of the perils of historical film, that it shapes how we view the past and how that view of the past colors how we interpret the present.
My review of 300 can be found here. I have to admit there is some irony in President Ahmadinejad decrying a film that promotes fascism through a state run television station.