Hollywood distorts history by portraying the ancestors of our Parsees as barbarians?
Another distortion of history. Yes, the victors always write history from their own point of view, but everytime I hear of an incident like this it upsets me. This time Hollywood is the culprit, not a school textbook. Hollywood, the movie making machine revered the world over. I guess the movie ‘300’ should be dismissed as pure fantasy but it talks of real characters and is a ‘historical’ movie. A war epic (a big hit in the US) which has portrayed a Persian king as a bloodthirsty savage. The Persians are the ancestors of Indians, the Parsees or Parsis, the Zoroastrians of India who settled here to escape religious persecution in Iran. Quoting from a news report on the movie:
“The press, officials and bloggers have united in denouncing the film, which uses visual effects art direction by the Sydney-based company Animal Logic, as another example of “psychological warfare” against Tehran by its American arch enemy at a time of mounting tension over its nuclear program.”
While there is no doubt that this distortion of history has something to do with the fact that today Iran is “in the Axis of Evil”, it is also plain ignorance. These guys were probably fed this rubbish about all foreigners being barbarians in their school text books. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the film as “American psychological warfare against Iran” as the cultural adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said, because its just a plain stupid movie, made by a director with a desire to sell and sensationalise. Its happened before. Some years ago a 2005 British newspaper review (concerning a film on the conquest of the Persian Empire) of an exhibition of antiquities, branded ancient Persia as the “Evil Empire”. This is so ridiculous as to be laughable.
This news report calls the movie a “saturated not-so-subtle Persianphobia” and goes on to explain:
California may be America’s ultimate melting pot, but Hollywood’s tall walls of exclusion and discrimination have yet to crumble when it comes to the movie industry’s persistent misrepresentation of Iranians and their collective identity immersed in a long thread of history. Speaking of history, it is simultaneously a rich yet exceedingly difficult source material for the art of movie-making, and Hollywood has at best a mixed record on “getting it right”, notwithstanding the controversies swirling about Oliver Stone’s political movies, or those of Mel Gibson and the like
I think there should be some sort of mechanism to stop movies from using real names and characters unless they stick to facts. If for example if real people living today are portrayed wrongly then huge compensation cases are slapped. But history is always treated as the personal property of the winners. To do what they like with it.