Hollywood causes outrage in Iran
War epic "300", a gory Hollywood hit about the Greco-Persian wars, has enraged Iranians. According to the Iranians, the film portrays their ancestors as "bloodthirsty savages."
At a time of mounting tension between the US and Iran, over the latter's nuclear program, the press has united in denouncing the film as "psychological warfare" against Tehran.
The purpose of the film is to tell the story of the 300 Spartan soldiers who fought off the ancient Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae. On Tuesday, the reformist daily Ayandeh headline for instance read, "Hollywood declares war on Iranians" and the article stated that, "it seeks to tell people that Iran, which is in the Axis of Evil now, has for long been the source of evil and modern Iranians' ancestors are the ugly murderous dumb savages you see in 300".
Three MPs in the Iranian parliament have already written to the foreign ministry to protest the production and screening of the anti-Iranian Hollywood film. The film, however, is already a major box office hit in the United States and Greece.
The likelihood that the film will ever be screened in the Islamic republic is minimal. However, contraband DVDs of this latest American movie are readily available on the streets no sooner than they are internationally released.
The commotion over 300 is not the first time that Iran has fumed over Western portrayals of its ancient history. In 2004, Iranians were angry by the epic Alexander, a film about the conquest of the Persian Empire and in 2005 they outraged when British newspapers reviewed an exhibition of antiquities that branded ancient Persia the "Evil Empire."