Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Argo": Great Film; Historically Inaccurate

So you know those weeks where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to fit everything in?  Well this past week was like that for me.  I was so busy with school, work, and family, that I just couldn’t get a chance to see a new movie this week.  I had planned on seeing “The Call” with Halle Berry, but something ALWAYS seemed to get in the way.  I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to blog about this week, but then it hit me.  I remembered that I had seen “Argo” not too long ago—and this film has sparked some recent controversy so I figured now would be a perfect time to submit my thoughts!

For those who don’t know much about this film, “Argo” won a TON of worldwide awards, including the Oscar this year for Best Picture.  It’s a historical drama, thriller starring Ben Affleck, and was also directed by him as well.  In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans were taken hostage.  Six of them managed to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA was eventually ordered to get them out of the country.  Exfiltration expert Tony Mendez (Affleck) developed a plan to create a fake Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran, in order to successfully smuggle the Americans out as its production crew.  He seeks out the help from some trusted Hollywood contacts, and they work together to try and put this plan in motion. 

I thought it was a fantastic film.  Affleck fully immerses you into this hostage crisis, almost to the point where you feel as though you were actually there.  It was witty, thrilling, and emotional all at once.  However, as a Canadian who was not even alive in the time where this event took place, I am still aware that this film EXTREMELY downplayed Canada’s involvement.  Argo largely credits the American CIA at the expense of the Canadian’s.  In an interview conducted my CNN, former President Jimmy Carter says that “90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian”.  He also gives his personal opinion stating that the real hero was the Canadian Ambassador, Ken Taylor, who orchestrated the entire process.  According to him, Tony Mendez, who was played very well by Affleck, was only in Tehran for “a day and a half.”

I understand that this was a Hollywood movie, and it of course was American, which is probably the main reason why the Canadian contributions were kerbed.  I just hope that those who enjoyed the film will educate themselves on this important piece of history—with the ACTUAL FACTS.  With all that being said, I still recommend that everyone see this movie, and let me know your thoughts on it!  You can leave me a comment here at the bottom!

I’ll also leave the theatrical trailer at the bottom, along with the CNN interview with Jimmy Carter.  Very interesting and worth checking out!

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