A Student of History

March 14, 2007

300 + Iran = outrage

Filed under: The past that is still with us — John Maass @ 8:06 am

More from the nutballs in Iran….

A Hollywood film depicting a battle between the Persian empire and a Greek army was denounced by Iran yesterday as “hostile” and an example of “cultural and psychological warfare”.

The film, 300, about the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, has made about $70 million in America in its first three days of release. It was attacked for its depiction of Persians as ruthless but dumb imperialists, who were repeatedly outsmarted by a smaller “western” force. The Persian king, Xerxes, was shown as effeminate.

Keep reading….

Time also has a good story here.




  1. I don’t see what the big fuss is about. This movie is based off of a graphic novel (comic book) that Frank Miller did. Therefore it isn’t an accurate account of what happens because everything is larger than life in comics. There are some facts about the battle in the movie, but the point of the movie is entertainment. Besides, this battle happened thousands of years ago and I don’t see how this movie would change our views about Iranians. I saw the movie and thought it was the best movie I’ve seen this year so far and I didn’t leave the theatre thinking anyless or anymore of Iranians.

    Comment by Donnie — March 14, 2007 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  2. To the great country of Iran. Get over it. It’s a stupid movie based on a stupid comic book story.

    Comment by Earl Flemm — March 14, 2007 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  3. Yes, because everyone who actually see’s the movie thinks that the Persian army really had huge monsters with swords as arms and giants who are not affected by a sword in the eye so they just pull it out.

    The movie didn’t make me think any less about Iran however this report made me. Honestly, how can you knock a movie no one in your country has ever seen. It’s a fantasy movie.

    Comment by Kevin — March 14, 2007 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  4. The Iranians actually believe this is a Hollywood Bush Administration conspiracy? The right wing Bush Administration hates Hollywood and the feeling is mutual. The Bush admin can’t get anything right and will go down as one of the most incompetent American administrations of all time, witness FEMA failures, Iraq infrastructure failures with Bush cronies, loss of American jobs to China… Bush and Cheney are not capable of planning and organizing a propaganda attack on Iran via Hollywood. This movie is about some damn brave Spartans and has everything to do with making money and nothing to do with Bush and our govt.

    Comment by Bob — March 14, 2007 @ 11:20 am | Reply

  5. Read this article to get an idea where the specifics behind the outrage is coming from:

    Comment by Gabriel — March 14, 2007 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  6. It’s ironic that the outrage over ‘300’ is coming from a group of people that will probably never see the movie and if even one percent of American’s who do see the film actually associate the Persians with modern day Iran it will be a miracle.

    Comment by Tim — March 14, 2007 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  7. Remember too that these are the same folks who put on an “academic” conference on the “Myth of the Holocaust” several months ago…they do not seem to have a problem with bending history to suit their own twisted purposes, but when they think others are doing so, it somehow becomes a moral crime.

    Comment by John Maass — March 14, 2007 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  8. I have to agree with Tim–Iranians shouldn’t be bothered by the movie because it couldn’t be a US conspiracy, as your average American isn’t going to connect Iran with Persia at all. Plus, obviously, Iranians haven’t seen the movie–I don’t know why the Time writer is almost acting like it’s a good thing for Iranians to feel so united over collective ignorance, especially when that unity breeds hatred, mistrust, and fear.

    Seems like a fake controversy designed to get people to forget about other problems by focusing on conflict with the US, which the Time article writer definitely alluded to (but mostly ignored).

    Comment by foolishbeat — March 14, 2007 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  9. I can understand a group of people being upset by negative publicity. However, it wasn’t the Persians vs America in this film. From what I recall of this movie, it was Persia vs Sparta. Why aren’t they upset with Greece?

    Comment by Ryan — March 14, 2007 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  10. Boo Hoo! Oh poor Iran, insulted by a MOVIE! hahahaha. Which do people in Iran think is a bigger insult, a stupid movie made for money, or a president of a nation claiming that the Holocaust never took place?

    Get a grip on reality Iran, your country sucks.

    Comment by Patrick Sheedy — March 14, 2007 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  11. This is a movie based on a comic book. The comic book, which forms all these negative perceptions, came out in 1998, before the current administration took power. The comic book is based upon greek myth. It is for entertainment value and the Persians were portrayed as such to act as an antithesis to the Spartan code. Come on. Look at the rest of Hollywood and you can see the government’s influence: An Inconvenient Truth, American Dreams, anything by Micheal Moore, etc. I guess when your government controls nearly every aspect of everyday life, you become suspicious of other governments doing the same.

    Comment by Brian — March 14, 2007 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  12. How did people get so stupid!!! Hey I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we edit out the battle of Thermopylae from history in case it offends more Iranians. The best part is Iranians comparing the huge success of 300 to the relative little success of Alexander. Uh, maybe that was because had Collin Farrel in the cast and most every movie with Collin Farrel tanks at the box office?

    This move was made because the Frank Miller comic book Sin City made some money at the box office so now the Hollywood went to get their hands on other Frank Miller titles like 300 which was written in 1998. Get over yourself, Iran. You’re really fooling yourself if you think every American who saw this movie even cares one way or the other about you.

    Comment by Call the Waaaabulance — March 14, 2007 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  13. first of all, i dont think half of americans know that persians are from Iran. Also, the movie depicts the iranians as a great, unfathomable force, that almost has an aura about it. It is just like any war movie, there is a good country and the enemy, a bad country.

    Comment by Dustin — March 14, 2007 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  14. Dustin–I doubt seriously its half (!), but I get your point…..JM

    Comment by John Maass — March 14, 2007 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  15. Like the world needs a film to turn popular opinion against the Iranian government… never mind Iran’s stance on nuclear proliferation! Yeah, sure sounds like another plot to me… Iran, get a clue!

    Comment by Toney — March 14, 2007 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

  16. I’m an Iranian & I live in Tehran! I did see the movie like many others here. it’s copies are everywhere. unlike many others I don’t think it’s a Bush admin conspiracy…but I still felt bad about it. there are many reasons, (you should consider the fact that Iranian see this while there is a high possibility of a US Army attack, so everybody gets more sensitive)

    anyway, If you really want to take a look at this from an Iranian P.O.V, come on & read this:


    I don’t say I’m necessarily right, but it’s just the way I feel!

    Comment by Hosein — March 14, 2007 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  17. Based on a book or not this movie was completely done in poor taste…pure, unadulterated propoganda and its target audience ate it up! Bravo to the directors and producers. I’m sure there will be an influx of enlistees!

    Comment by Canopy Jones — March 15, 2007 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  18. Propaganda for whom or what?

    Comment by John Maass — March 15, 2007 @ 9:11 am | Reply

  19. We (here in America) are letting to many other countries and religions govern us. Take a look at what has happened to our Museums and galleries, some are not showing certain typs of art because it may offend the Muslims. China is dictating to Microsoft, google, and Yahoo, and to the museums and galleries. What is becoming of this country when we can not be outspoken, expressive, and let the chips fall where they may. I am sure this movie does not depict the true events, but show me someone who was alive then and they can tell me the true story. The artist bends the truth to fit his story line, lets sit back and enjoy. This is a movie, and I have seen many that have shown the Chinese, Russians in more modern times, and made them the bad guys. We did not beat our selves up over those movies, nor did we let those governments do it either. Are we becoming a country afraid to express ourselves in the arts. I see us as always looking over our shoulder afraid that we will offend someone. And the Iranians whailing and nashing there teeth just shows they are being led around by the nose just like they will always be, either by their government or by their religion.

    Comment by Mick Cook — March 15, 2007 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  20. To be honest I thought the Persians in the movie were portrayed very majestically. I thought they were pretty cool.

    Anywho… imagine if you were Iranian and you knew that America was actively planning to bomb the **** out of you. I’d be pretty touchy too. C’mon, seriously… Bush has focused his war machine on you… you’d be scared ****less.

    Comment by tk — March 15, 2007 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  21. The political exaggerations are a bit much, but the cultural insults are evident. It’s hard for people who aren’t minorities to realize what it’s like to live with ignorant jerks. So try not to be typical American ***holes and learn some sensitivity (to those that were insensitive).

    What if America was a small insignificant country and China was threatening to attack with outrageously destructive force. At the same time China comes out with a huge blockbuster that makes George Washington and the rest of our founding fathers look like feeble, decadent, idiots. And the Native American resistors were played by Chinese people. (The “Greeks” in the movie were white -probably British and American- actors, not Greeks.)

    So this gigantic capitalist power, that owns everything, is about to piss all over you militarily, but right before it does so, it makes a movie that pisses all over your culture and history, and everyone in that overbearing country is eating it up.

    Ah, it’s probably too hard for you to imagine. But just wait, arrogance is the undoing of all empires. We’ll probably see it in our lifetime.

    Prepare for Glory!

    Comment by tk — March 15, 2007 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  22. Arrogance, huh?

    Anyway I think the key here is that the vast majority of Americans do not associate ancient Persia with modern day Iran. Or at least, they didn’t before this story…

    I think if George Bush had directed this film with the intention of subconciously preparing 100% of the US population for war with Iran, he would have hired an Ahmadinejad impersonator to play Xerxes.

    Well, I’d better get back to preparing for the imminent annihilation of Iran. I mean, you’d think that given the current situation in Iraq and the overwhelming public dissapproval of keeping troops there, that an open war with Iran would be unlikely.

    But after I saw 300, I don’t know… I mean, I do identify with the ancient culture of Sparta… And those Persians just itch me the wrong way…

    Comment by SW — March 16, 2007 @ 1:01 am | Reply

  23. I’m not saying that we are going to war with Iran. I’m saying that the fact that it’s even a possibility is downright terrifying, and it would have significant psychological effects.

    I’m simply putting some context to their reaction. Given the circumstances, it’s much more understandable.

    Don’t ever accuse a person who has always had to fight for their acceptance and dignity of being “oversensitive”. Your ability to “get over it” is attributed to the fact that your cultural identity is affirmed by the majority culture.

    There’s nothing wrong with the bully, those weird little kids need to get over it.

    Comment by tk — March 16, 2007 @ 2:20 am | Reply

  24. dear tk, no one would be offended by a movie that portrayed the founding fathers as eveil because they wouldm’t believe it- period. Maybe if a film was made about the Mexican-American war, then someone might say “who’s James K. Polk?” but not care at all. But face it, the Iranians are far too thin-skinned. If they attempted to respond in kind, no-one in the US would even notice

    Comment by george — March 17, 2007 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

  25. “affirmed by the majority culture.” Oh boo friggin’ hoo tk. If you were a dignified fighter you wouldn’t be such a whiner.

    Comment by mh — March 19, 2007 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  26. I think those that are telling Iranians (I couldn’t care less about their gomvernment; I am only concerned with the individuals whom hail from that region) that they are over reacting or making some of the far worse comments I have seen here, should take time and consider that, just because you don’t know or aren’t connected to the history of the Persian Empire, this is about besmirching the history Iranians put a lot of stock in.

    I think a better way to think about it is this: Lets imagine a “blockbuster” film out of Iran depicting the life of Native Americans village during the Colonial period. The major conflict of the story revolves around a young, British captain whom is, because of the war, threatening the life of this village. The british officer is depicted as arrogant and brutal when dealing with the Natives because, in the scheme of the story, he is the bad guy. And of course the British soldier’s name is George Washinton. Do you think you wouldn’t be thin skinned about that?

    Or a better movie would be this one: A CIA (great, great grandson of Teddy Roosevelt) is stationed in Iran. While there, he is given the assignment to foment a coup that will allow the Shaw to take power. Through several political and economic schemes (buying up the countries currency and the like) this agent is not only the responsible for 1, but 2, coup attempts, the second on successful. After which the Shaw takes power and begins disapearing thousands of citizens, institues ecinomic reforms that cause crushing poverty for a large swath of the country and is kept in power by a foreign power (not that the current government is any better, but at least it is somewhat of a Democracy). Oh and the sequel is ready, becuase the very same strategy was used to put Pinochet in power in Chile.

    Its amazing we have any diplomatic ties to this country left, after we put in place a brutal un-democratic leader, supported him during his reign and protected him after he was deposed.

    Comment by WorseThanNormal — March 20, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  27. Actually, WorseThanNormal, and all others who have been kind enough to post their thoughts here, we are overblowing this thing considerably. This is really NOT “about besmirching the history Iranians put a lot of stock in.” Hollywood is about making money, pure and simple. These folks are not out to make political statements or threaten the Iranians-they are trying to make a profit any way they can, end of story. If they thought they could do so by casting Brad Pitt as an ice cream truck driver selling snow cones to 6 year olds for 2 hours, they’d produce that and call it a movie.

    Comment by John Maass — March 20, 2007 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  28. Nobody gives a shit about Iran. 300 is just a movie. They should stop trying to make everything about them and stop taking offense to everything. Persia was a great empire, Iran sucks.

    Comment by Ben — March 21, 2007 @ 7:24 am | Reply

  29. Get with the program people..there is only one bad guy left in the world..He wears a baseball cap and drives a pickup truck..everyone else MUST be portrayed acording to the political correct leftist handbook of BS dogma..

    Comment by Speirs — March 22, 2007 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  30. For all those who think that we are outraged because we think this movie is part of Bush Admin conspiracy aginst Iran, this not the point of our disappointment at all.

    1- I do agree that this is a fantasy, not an accurate naration of what happened 2500 yrs agoo. Indeed, frankly speaking, I do not believe in the details of historic events even if they come from so called accurate historical book. The reason is so simple. Forget about history; just think about the contemporary events, like the US invasion of Iraq. Damn, though it happened just 3 yrs ago, no one has a certain record of what indeed happened, and why they come up with this brilliant idea. Now, how we can trust on the stories of 2500 yrs ago. Ridiculously, some of these stories event talk about detail conversations of Leonidas and King Xerxes. So, the entire record of history in our minds is a sort of fantasy. From this point, even loosely relating a fantasy to the historical events, in such an unfair way becomes disappointing, because, this will finally creat a backround image, particularly in the minds of younge ppl. Don’t forget that Natzis did a lot of fantasy cartoos about jews to prepare the mindset of ppl for such horible crimes.

    2- I am sure, politics are not the concern in Hollywood. In fact, that is all about money, and this is exactly the distrubing point. We have ppl who are willing to do anything to increase their fame and wealth. This really scares me.

    3- This is question is bugging my mind. Why all bad characters in this movie are black or colored, and all good ones are blonde??!!! Doesn’t this qualifies the author and director to be blamed as racist? I think it does, even if they are not aware of that. This is another disappointing fact about western countries. There is a hidden racism sentiment in the background of many minds. Even sometimes many are not aware of that.

    4- Don’t get me wrong; I don’t say that non-blondes are inocent, persians were a perfect empire and etc. In fact, I believe that there is no perfectly bad and good human being or society. That s why this sort of dividing ppl into good and bad really bothers me.

    Best regards,
    Mehrdad (A non-persian from Iran)

    Comment by mehrdad — March 23, 2007 @ 7:11 am | Reply

  31. I just have one question. How can a government (Iran’s) that regularly refers to my country (USA) as Satan, be offended by a movie that is based on a comic book? They claim that it is a deliberate attempt to attack Iranian culture, what about when they regularly proclaim that America is “the Great Satan”? Mehrdad, you don’t like people being divided into good and bad? Thats what Iranian officials do every time they refer to my country as the devil, so until they stop insulting us on that level, they need to get over any perceived insults from a frickin’ movie that is based on a comic book.

    Comment by Andrew — March 23, 2007 @ 11:52 am | Reply

  32. 1st off, we have seen the movie in Iran- actually everybody I know has seen the movie. 2nd off, do u have the guts to make an insulting fantasy movie about blacks or Jews or other minorities. Just labling a move as fantasy does not give you the right to ruin our history and heritage. 3rd off, just because our stupid governments says holocaust is a myth and twists the history doesn’t mean we think and act the same. So plz stop acting like we are responsible for everything that our stupid regime does!

    Comment by Ebi — March 23, 2007 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  33. Ebi, thank you for your comments. We are aware that not everyone who is an Iranian citizen thinks and acts like your government. We are aware of that because of the large numbers of people that live in the US that were born in Iran and the rest of the Middle East. I just don’t see what is so insulting about the movie. The complaints that I have heard are: 1. the Persians aren’t wearing clothes 2. they have no morals 3. they are portrayed as an invading force bent on taking over the world. In response: 1. neither are the Greeks 2. the Spartans are shown practicing infanticide (which is true) and the crazy priests at Delphi are certainly deviants and 3. the Persian army was in fact an invading force bent on taking over the world. That’s why the battle was fought in Greece!

    I guess I do not understand the ultra hypersensitivity, but do not worry, we are way harder on ourselves in the US for our failings than all the Hugo Chavez’s and Tehran leaders could ever be.

    Now can you let the 15 British sailors go??

    Comment by RR — March 23, 2007 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  34. See, you proved my point again! We, as Iranians, are not responsible for everything that happens in Iran (unfortunately) or elsewhere. But I’ll do my best; I’ll have a short chat with our top leader and ask him to let the 12 sailors go!!!! You are hard on yourselves? Is that right? So how come you couldn’t stop your president, who by the way I like for some reasons, from invading Iraq even though you knew Iraq did not have any WMDs. How come you can not convince him to leave Iraq? Are you really hard on yourselves? Please try more before you make new heavens for terrorists and destabilize the region!

    Comment by Ebi — March 24, 2007 @ 12:36 am | Reply

  35. Look Ebi, I am not out to accuse you of anything. The last comment I made was a poor choice on my part, I know that the average citizen has no control over such actions, I am just a little mad about it. It is my understanding that the military sect that took the British officers captive is not even directly related to the elected government, for me that is troubling and hard to understand, but I should not have thrown in that final statement to you. The reason I think most US citizens feel that the Iranian reaction to the movie 300 is ridiculous is because it is 10 times louder than any reaction from anyone in the Middle East that we can remember to true atrocities that have occured and continue to occur in the name of Islam. Either it is just not published or I am blind to how the average Muslim feels about the use of violence in the name of Islam. I just don’t understand how a cartoon in an obscure European newspaper can raise more furor in the streets of Pakistan and Iran than the deaths of innocent people in the name of a peaceful religion. I guess that is the heart of it.

    Our government has and will continue to make mistakes, yours probably will too, but if the average person can relate with one another we have nothing to fear.

    Comment by RR — March 24, 2007 @ 1:12 am | Reply

  36. first of all i wanted to say that this movie is based on a comic book which is based on a true event!the battle in thermopylae between the spartans and the persians happened indeed. second, i would like to say that persians were imperialists indeed and the army was made mostly by dumb slaves. i dont get whats the problem with that! they were imperialists as every powerful force in every era..like Alexander the Great a few centuries later..as USA now..furthermore,,there is problem of presenting Xerxes as effeminate,since having contact with the same sex was not considered in the same way as now..dont forget that the movie refers to an era before muslim and christianism appeared….and it is not a propaganda against iran since for example..in the movie “alexander” alexander the great kissed another man..when u saw that..did u believe that USA created a propaganda against Greece??

    Comment by Nick — March 24, 2007 @ 3:55 am | Reply

  37. RR…thanks… I guess you are right… The movie itself is a masterpiece and revolutionary and the content of it is also not as bad and insulting as Iranian say it is. I agree with that. But, to understand why Iranians are mad you better have a look at our contemporary history… we had a secular and democratic government in Iran around 80 years ago lead by prime minister Dr. M. Mosadeq who by the was very popular, well educated, clean… His regime was over thrown by C.I.A. and MI6 and as a consequence we are suffering from an ultra religious, ultra fundamentalist, corrupted government which is not supported by more than 80% of people. The imposed government supports terrorists in anyway it can… Our government sends our money to Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq… instead of giving it to our people who are starving to death. Iranians are mad because they think it is a direct consequence of what Americans did 80 years ago and that’s why they don’t trust you although they respect you. What you see in the media about burning flags and all the “Dawn with America” things is caused by 5-10% of Iranians.

    Comment by Ebi — March 24, 2007 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  38. actually, it is sad that nobody learns about that. yesterday i read an article in a site from an iranian historian about how the movie is bad etc.. i think he exaggerated ..the only true thing is about xerxes how come he is bold, effeminate, wearing these clothes etc…thats true..it was bad/ i am greek and support iran, more than usa…i dont know what is exactly going on.. but iran is the only country who are actually opposing to usa..and are independent which i admire a lot. u know greeks( im greek) disagree and hate the american government..but our government always says yes to usa… thanx for ur reply..and im really interested in findinjg out more..

    Comment by Nick — March 26, 2007 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  39. 300 is the best movie I have seen all year. http://bestamvs.com/musicvids.html

    “…we had a secular and democratic government in Iran around 80 years ago lead by prime minister Dr. M. Mosadeq who by the was very popular, well educated, clean… His regime was over thrown by C.I.A. and MI6 and as a consequence we are suffering from an ultra religious, ultra fundamentalist, corrupted government which is not supported by more than 80% of people. The imposed government supports terrorists in anyway it can… Our government sends our money to Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq… instead of giving it to our people who are starving to death. Iranians are mad because they think it is a direct consequence of what Americans did 80 years ago and that’s why they don’t trust you…”

    This is the kind of logic I like to see, rather than foolish attacks on a movie that was really good.

    Comment by Nicholai — March 28, 2007 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  40. I am from IRAN-every one with honest logic and mind knows that.The Persia is one of the most developed and human respector civilizations over the history.
    how could a honest human belive that ancient persia could be some thing like that.
    look at me.
    Holly wood wants to change our proudfull background to a dark thing,but i strongly belive ,if you decide to force some one accepting to belive that milk is black (even with cocoa)then you are in depth of the bring stupid way.
    But there is some thing real that,you can sell this black milk to some dumb or dumber people to make some money or some other things…..but the point is,the milk is still white for ever even if you where Warner bro’s or any damn thing else.THIS IS THE RULE 2X2=4 i have a recommandation to who bought this black cocoa+milk ,read some history books to realise what agrate civilization is the Persia.note :Do not read the history published by holly wood or warner fuckers…
    good luck.

    Comment by Ehsan — March 28, 2007 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

  41. Ehsan: would the ancient Greeks have described Persia as a “human respector civilization” as they were invading their homelands? I doubt it! JM

    Comment by John Maass — March 28, 2007 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  42. It doesn’t matter any way you slice it. This “outrage” over a comic book based movie is coming from a country that denies the holocaust ever happened, even went so far as to hold an organized conference to dispute the claims of the holocaust, and vows to destroy Israel while calling my country the “Great Satan” has some serious issues to get over. They (the Iranians) must look inward and see how their government is being looked at by the outside and stand in our perspective. In our minds, the Persian depicted in 300 are the ones that spring up in our minds when we hear about Iran seeking nuke weapons and kidnapping British Marines and Sailors. The dark, twisted, evil Persians that support terrorism and is bent on destroying Israel. So, yes. This is our sub conscience image of Iran in the present world situation. Whether you like it or not…it is what it is. Take it or leave it. America has done a lot of dumb stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I freely admit that. But, we (Americans) should have nothing to apologize for at all. We do more in the way of promoting peace and helping the poorer countries of the world than Iran. So, there you have it. Oh..one more thing. The Greek Spartans were all white soldiers. There were no people of color in the Greek army back then. So, the portrayal of the Greeks and blonde and blue eyed is accurate. The portrayal of Persians (the government figureheads, not the general population mind you) as loathsome beasts is also accurate, it just depends on where your standing.

    Comment by John — April 2, 2007 @ 7:30 am | Reply

  43. John;
    I didn’t want to reply the posts anymore because I think it is stupid to get mad over a comic book-based movie as comic books are not meant to narrate real stories. But, what you wrote in your last post made me realize how some Americans are ridiculously close minded and bind and ignorant to reality.
    Do you really think ancient Spartans were all white, with blonde hairs and blue eyes? Well, I don’t blame you. For you guys, even Jesus Christ had white skin, blue eyes and blonde hairs as if he was born in NY!!
    and Persians were beasts and monsters? I am sure it is based on the image you have about current Iran and not ancient Iran- Persia becuase I am sure you know the “Cyrus the great cylinder” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Charter_of_Human_Rights).

    I am not writing this to defend our government and leader because nobody in Iran supports or even likes them. But as I said in my previous post, we don’t have democracy in Iran and therefore we are not responsible for what they do or what they say? Actually, whenever we tried to change things around here we were betrayed by your and other western countries because our movement was against their interests and benefits and eventually we were poisoned and even killed.

    On the other hand, you have democracy in your country and apparently you are very proud of it. So you are responsible for everything your government does. You really think Americans have nothing to apologize for and you are promoting peace and fighting poverty around the world!!??!! You are so full of it! Buddy, you better break the shell and travel around and see the real world and not the one created and shown by CNN, Fox News, abc News …

    What is your contribution to the world peace? Vietnam war? Korea? Somalia? Or maybe IRAQ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Buddy, are you familiar with the history of south American countries? Do you know the democratic government of Chili lead by President Salvador Allende was over thrown by your government? I am sure you can find more examples if you look properly….

    Comment by Ebi — April 4, 2007 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  44. Ebi,
    You want democracy in Iran? Do you? Well, there are over 150,000 American troops across the border in Iraq, Why don’t you call them over to dispense some democracy in your country? Our Marines and Soldiers would love to as well as the British. Oh and by the by, Jesus was not white, he most likely looked like anyother Jew of the era, and I have been around. I see what America has done for the world everyday. Some bad, alot good. So there you have it.

    Comment by John — April 4, 2007 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  45. Ebi,

    You are right that there are some ignorant Americans, but you are obviously a very intelligent person yourself and have to know that ignorance is everywhere. For you to say that Americans think Christ was a blonde haired blue eyed guy from NY is like me saying people from the Middle East thinks if they kill enough “infidels” they will go to a place when they die where 70 virgins will be waiting on them for all time. You know better and are too good to have to reply to every ridiculous posting.

    Concerning your other comment though, John is right. I truly believe that the world is a better place because of the sacrifices thousands of Americans have made in war. A lot of the wars the US has been involved in, they have been drawn into and the world would likely be a darker place if those men and women had not fought alongside other nations to defend freedom.

    The US (just like many other countries) has been a place that has fostered free speech as well. The fact that you and I can converse over the internet and reference wikipedia articles to one another (I liked the link to the Cyrus cylinder – very interesting) has in part been made possible by the US system. We are not enemies, and it would be great if we could work on today’s issues together (global warming being the biggest one – and the US has a lot of work to do) instead of focusing on history. We must learn from history but we need to move forward.

    Interesting note from the Wikipedia article you posted: ref Cyrus cylinder “Passages in the text have been interpreted as expressing Cyrus’ respect for humanity. It promotes a form of religious tolerance and freedom.[9] – that is one of the primary foundations of the US – we are very much linked!

    Thanks for your comments Ebi.

    Comment by RR — April 4, 2007 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

  46. Hi Guys,

    I’m Iranian, 23, college student, male, and I live in Tehran. I don’t blame you for thinking it is stupid to get mad over a “comic-based” movie because there are things you don’t know about Iran and Iranians.

    1)Almost every one in Iran has seen this movie although it is banned in Iran, you can easily buy the DVD with Persian subtitle for less than 2 USD(benefits of not having copyright law ;)).Even, surprisingly, this website is censored in Iran but as you can see I posted my message here using anti-filter softwares. This is how it works in Iran. No one cares what the stupid government says, we do what we think is right. There is a huge gap between the Iranian government and the people.

    other examples: government says if you drink alcohol you go to prison but we buy whiskey and vodka and we drink it every weekend and we party and have fun with chicks, which is also against the law, CHEERS!!

    2)In Iran the mass majority consider them self PERSIANS. Islam was brought to ancient Persia (Iran) when the Arabs (Mohammad profit of Islam) attacked Persia many years ago. As you know the government of Iran are hard-liner Muslims and therefor they always say good things about Arabs(which brought Islam to Iran) and don’t really say much about Persian traditions.

    How would you feel if Bush kept saying stuff like how fortunate we are as Americans that Europeans kicked us out of Europe so we had to come to America and didn’t say anything good about America. You know!! He kept kissing there ass(no offend!!! It’s just to make my point clear. I know it’s not true. I respect the American culture).

    So, How would you feel??? It’s some thing like that!! It is a very complicated situation and very hard to explain. Most Iranians don’t like Arabs because Iranian people feel that they kind of stole our PERSIAN identity.

    in conclusion, Persian means the Iranian people, Islam means the Iranian regime. In the movie 300 the PERSIANS(the only thing good left of the ancient Iranian culture) was insulted in many ways. especially, by showing Xerxes as a trans-sexual (No offense to dear trans-sexual s 😉 )

    sorry if you have a hard time reading this, My English isn’t all that good.


    Comment by Vahid — April 6, 2007 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

    • Vahid,

      I am Greek and I do respect your comments!

      I see where you are coming from about how the movie ridicules Xerxes and the Persians.
      They could just keep it simple and show the historical facts, but then again maybe they wouldn’t sell as many tickets.
      This is Holywood I’m afraid.

      Keep up the party buddy! 😉

      Comment by Empire13 — June 16, 2013 @ 6:04 am | Reply

  47. Vahid,

    Your English is very good. I am embarrased to say, probably better than a lot of people I know who have grown up with nothing else.

    To answer your question, I can see how this movie could be upsetting based on the facts you provided. Hopefully you can take it with a grain of salt and just accept it as fiction. Although, I think you would admit, the 300 Spartans that stood their ground to the bitter end against unbelievable odds is an impressive story.

    Why not make a movie in Iran highlighting the Persian history – how the empire rose up, what it’s contributions were? Maybe the current government won’t let you – but if everyone disobeys the government anyway, maybe it could be done.

    Good luck to you and keep partying it up in Tehran!

    Comment by RR — April 7, 2007 @ 12:04 am | Reply

  48. Thanks for your comment RR. 😉

    Comment by Vahid — April 7, 2007 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

  49. […] Filed under: The past that is still with us — John Maass @ 9:10 pm My previous post on the movie “300″ has generated an enormous number of hits, not because of what I wrote […]

    Pingback by Is the film "300" racist? « A Student of History — April 9, 2007 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  50. It’s just a movie based on a real war.

    The persians were attacking Greeks on greek soil.
    If they were so perfect they wouldn’t have been warring with the Greek tribes.
    So, every country has a shady past somewhere.

    Again, it’s a movie – hence the exagerated creatures featured in Xerxes army.

    Trust me, I am Greek and I didn’t leave the cinema hating Iran. I left the cinema wishing no country ever invaded another, ever again.
    I felt horrible for all the genocides ever performed on innocent people too.

    Watch: “Screamers”.

    It’s an anti-war film. Glory is in defending your country, not invading others.


    Comment by agatha — April 9, 2007 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  51. […] from what I read from some very interesting comments of Iranians on this website, it’s not the Iranians themselves that are outraged, just their government. They don’t like their […]

    Pingback by 300 - Page 2 - AsiaJam Forums — April 10, 2007 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

  52. I am sorry if my comments offended you in any ways. My knowledge is very limited when it comes to politics; after all as a wise man said once “politics is more complicated than physics”!!! Hey by the way, have you guys seen the “South Park” version of 300?! It’s awesome!


    Comment by Ebi — April 13, 2007 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  53. As far as alleged propaganda goes, Hollywood made a version of the Thermopylae story back in 1962 called “The 300 Spartans” — at a time when Iran and the U.S. had very friendly relations! Unfortunately I don’t remember much about the film except that the Spartans were the good guys and that the final slaughter-by-arrow featured some really bad special effects…

    Comment by W.M. Sarf — April 15, 2007 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  54. I have had to delete several comments here due to profanity so if you woul dlike to make a comment-be clean.

    Comment by John Maass — April 16, 2007 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

  55. this is persia ,it is alive for ever with proudfull history
    and honour

    Comment by Ehsan — April 20, 2007 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  56. The movie is great. Yes, it has some hidden messages that are not politically correct. That makes it even greater.

    What we need is not crybabies and nobody cares about Iranians. We need proud people that know our culture was made on heroes descended directly from Heracles.

    Comment by Arsath — April 23, 2007 @ 9:30 am | Reply

  57. I am probably the only person writing that has not seen the movie, but I work in a movie theater and saw bits and pieces…but I do have something to say from a completely different point of view. I think that everyone can agree that the battle of Thermopylea did happen. But let us go way back in history and even look in the bible. How many people know that the name Xerxes is the Greek name for Khshayarsha which is the Persian name and Ahasuerus is the Hebrew. Now I am sure everyone is totally confused and going huh? Well does the book of Esther in the Bible ring a bell? She was married to the King of Persia during Persian world history circa 539 B.C. to 331 B.C. I don’t beleive that God would allow a Hebrew woman like Ester to marry someone like the one portrayed in the movie. In the Book of Esther I had the impression that the King loved her more than all his other wives. I couldn’t see a movie that portrayed King Xerxes the way it did. I hope everyone has a Blessed Day.

    Comment by Teressa — April 23, 2007 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  58. Because I have several Iranian friends, I can vouch that there is a huge gap between the Iranian people and their government. In fact it is hard to tell who hates the Iranian government more sometimes,Iranians or Americans. 300 is by far the coolest movie this year and one of the coolest of all time. Not great, but very entertaining, and that is all it is entertainment. I’m a fan of Frank Miller’s style so it was especially easy for me to enjoy the film. Other than the immortals and a few other characters in the film (the executioner with blade arms was a tad over the top)I don’t think the Persians were portrayed as monstrous or demonic. And as for those who say that the actors playing Spartans did not look Greek, have any of you met a Greek person? They often appear cuacasian with light hair and fair skin. Jeeesh!

    Comment by Joe — August 3, 2007 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

    • being Greek I assure you your so far off it isn’t funny Greeks are med and of west Asian decent genetically ancient Greeks disliked light featured folk you know barbarians that’s what we called you all. and dispute our conflict with Persia we actually held them in high regard. white looking Greeks are the remnants of invaders from the north a minority I might add. ancient Greeks originated from Paleolithic and Neolithic middle eastern nomads. they were and are not blonde. genetics don’t lie we are extreme outliers in Europe meaning other euro’s who have Greek genes get it from our colonization of Europe but that doesn’t work both ways ancient and modern Greeks genetically derive from indigenous proto Greeks. infect very little r1 is shown in Greece or the Balkans as a whole. blonde Greeks is a Nordic lie that is disproven so please no more white propaganda. besides we got more in common with Iran than we do with Europeans.

      Comment by andrew — December 1, 2011 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  59. I certainly thought the number of people with light hair was at a minimum, I have come across a copy and watched it three times in the last week or so. It is a good film based on a historical event. Accurate? no…entertaining? sure…political brainwashing? hahaha not even close!
    I really enjoy reading many of the responses from iranians (Vahid and Ebi in particular) placing their culture separate from the political discord that exists amongst the world and their ability to be articulate enough to state real issues (EX: operation Ajax).

    Comment by ch — August 6, 2007 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  60. به نظر من فیلم توهین آمیزی هستش

    Comment by گزارش — January 13, 2009 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  61. […] are the sons and daughters of Helen), there are reasons to fight these mythical creatures, these Persians with their long hair and their golden hooks and beliefs that they are gods of all of these places, […]

    Pingback by #2 – 300 « 300 Reviews — January 18, 2010 @ 12:22 am | Reply

  62. […] are the sons and daughters of Helen), there are reasons to fight these mythical creatures, these Persians with their long hair and their golden hooks and beliefs that they are gods of all of these places, […]

    Pingback by 300 Reviews » Blog Archive » #2 – 300 — January 15, 2011 @ 10:06 am | Reply

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