Mar 24 2007

300: Freedom on the March

Published by at 5:09 pm under Current Events,WorldView

300 is an unrelenting Hollywood blockbuster gore-fest, but is it war-mongering political propaganda?

The film depicts a heroic coalition of Spartans and Greeks fighting against an army of Persians led by a tyrant. Based loosely on historical events, the subject matter of the film has Iran’s cultural adviser, Javad Shamqadri, ranting that it is a salvo in “a cultural war against the people of Iran“.

The blogosphere is flowing with opinions about how this or that scene in the film glorifies war in general or in particular against foreign barbarians. But in the film, there’s more than just a suggestion that the Spartans are at least as guilty of barbarism as their enemies (killing messengers, practicing infanticide, raising their own children into savagery). The film is overwhelmingly a celebration of violence, not a political tract gushing over Western superiority.

Even if the Spartans’ declaration that freedom must be fought for are to be taken at face value, there’s nothing so terrible about that, either. It’s quite true – though in our day and age, one should certainly be as skeptical as the Spartan senate in the film about the real motives for war.

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “300: Freedom on the March”

  1. on 24 Mar 2007 at 7:38 pm

    The Spartans were a nasty bit of goods . . . the original fascists; the local peasantry–called the Helots–were ill-treated slaves and they treated Spartan women pretty dreadfully. Spartan boys had it pretty ghastly, too, for that matter. It didn’t work out well for them in the end, however, because they essentially enslaved themselves to keep the Helots down and ceased to innovate on the battlefield, the economy, or anywhere else.

    Xerxes–the Persian king–was no bed of clover, either. I expect the Iranians are in a twist because they can’t figure out a way to adapt the story to blame everything on Israel and the Great Satan for their kiddie-cartoons.

    What to expect: a fatwa against everyone who had anything to do with the film. The Iranian regime knows how to show who’s really civilized!

  2. on 24 Mar 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Hopefully we can understand now that Iranians are batshit insane psychotics and the proof would be the holding hostage of 15 British servicemen which they captured in the waterway between Iraq and Iran which if you Google it shows as quite a narrow little patch of water.
    Brits are now run by moonbats of course so the response is predictable and dull and worthy of any other old appeaser.
    While shaking swords doesn;t necessarily solve problems, wrapping up the Iranian consular people and tossing them in holding pens is one reaction ..another might be the seizure of assets of Iran in the UK and worldwide. I am sure the USA would be happy to help.
    ANyway- look the Iranians and their fellow travellers are spoiling for a fight … we should give it to them. If not now when? If not us, who ?

    it’s coming whether you do anything or not you know.

    Watch Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—he didn;t show up at the UN as promised. Why ? He is going to play that into the Arab world like someone here wouldn;t let him come ! He is a LIAR. A FAT cave dwelling liar.

  3. on 24 Mar 2007 at 7:53 pm

    This whole controversy is contrived since neither Sparta nor Persia exist. Trying to draw parallels to today can be done with any movie, book or story, and is exceptionally easy to do with the ancients. The original Greek authors of the story were unabashed patriots and were completely bias in recording this story in favour of the Greeks. If Iran has any beef with how the story is told they should complain to the City Library, official historian of the City State of Sparta.
    tempest in a tea pot.
    PS. I thought is was a great movie, and yes I did see some parallels… leadership, honour, duty, commitment, sacrifice, well chosen ground… all timeless themes and as applicable today as they were 3000 years ago.

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