Iranian government cultural advisor Shamaqdari is sadly mistaken: the U.S. isn’t waging war through this classic story of the 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas who fought, and perished, at the hands of the “million man” Persian army. Although I was personally hoping to see the movie version of Stephen Pressfield’s fantastic Gates of Fire, it was Frank Miller’s 300 that hit the screens first. The “hyper-real,” uber-computer-generated, cartoonish film is a purposeful caricature, the vision of Frank Miller and Zack Snyder (who’s done Dawn of the Dead (i.e., not what you’d consider a documentary) and is working on a film version of the graphic novel (read: cartoonish) Watchmen).
Despite this, it’s being taken by at least a few Iranian officials, and from media reports a whole lot of Iranians, as an affront to Persian history and a (get this) premediatated attack by the American government:
Javad Shamaqdari, a cultural advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said it was “plundering Iran’s historic past and insulting this civilization”. He branded the film “psychological warfare” against Tehran and its people. But Iranian culture was strong enough to withstand the assault, Mr Shamaqdari insisted: “American cultural officials thought they could get mental satisfaction by plundering Iran’s historic past and insulting this civilization,” he said, “Following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Hollywood and cultural authorities in the US initiated studies to figure out how to attack Iranian culture.”