May 27, 2012

Trailer Time: Argo

Less than a year after Asghar Farhadi brought Iran to Hollywood with his piercing dramatic thriller, A Separation, Ben Affleck is doing the opposite and taking Hollywood to Iran with Argo. Set during the 444 day hostage crisis in Tehran, Affleck's period political thriller tells the story of a fake film crew who enter Iran to take 6 of the American hostages back with them under disguise.

Iran-themed films taking Hollywood by storm?
Part of me, as an Iranian, is excited to see Tehran in a major Hollywood production, though the film is actually shot in Istanbul, Turkey and the disastrous mistake of showing one of city's most iconic mosques in the trailer when it's supposed to stand in for another location promises more ignorant missteps in the architectural department. To the film's credit, however, I have never been to a city that resembles my hometown more than Istanbul does.
The other part of me dreads the prospect of seeing the film in full. The hostage crisis is, by all accounts except the one given by the far right conservatives of the Iranian regime, a scar on the face of Iranian history. It's an event that accelerated Iran's isolation from the West and became a blatant example of the government's disrespect for international diplomacy. I haven't seen the film so it'd be presumtuous of me to accuse it of anything, but there really aren't many ways the story can be spun and none of those will bolster the image of Iranians in the West.
It's disappointing that with so many years gone after the crisis, this film should come a mere few months after Asghar Farhadi's pitch-perfect Oscar speech pleaded for a better understanding of Iranians as "people who respect all civilizations and cultures." 
The politics aside, Ben Affleck has been maturing as a director and this trailer gives us every reason to believe he can conjure up something as exciting as The Town or Gone Baby Gone. The film will be released in Canada on October 12th.

1 comment:

  1. really want to see this!
    but i totally agree with what you said about better understanding of iranians