“Argo” in a less than positive light

Slate’s Kevin B. Lee has written a less than flattering review of “Argo”, “Argo, F–k Yourself”, which while LSW has not seen the film in question, seems to correspond to LSW’s perception of the mode in which Hollywood operates.

A couple of quotes should induce the reader to read the full review.

“Perhaps my disgust wouldn’t be as intense if it weren’t for the potentially great film suggested by Argo’s opening sequence: a history of pre-revolutionary Iran told through eye-catching storyboards. The sequence gives a compelling (if sensationalized) account of how the CIA’s meddling with Iran’s government over three decades led to a corrupt and oppressive regime, eventually inciting the 1979 revolution. The sequence even humanizes the Iranian people as victims of these abuses. This opening may very well be the reason why critics have given the film credit for being insightful and progressive—because nothing that follows comes close, and the rest of the movie actually undoes what this opening achieves.”

“Instead of keeping its eye on the big picture of revolutionary Iran, the film settles into a retrograde “white Americans in peril” storyline. It recasts those oppressed Iranians as a raging, zombie-like horde, the same dark-faced demons from countless other movies— still a surefire dramatic device for instilling fear in an American audience. After the opening makes a big fuss about how Iranians were victimized for decades, the film marginalizes them from their own story, shunting them into the role of villains.”

The last sentence needs to be referenced: “A razzle-dazzle con job worthy of its CIA subject, Argo thinks of you just like it thinks of those buffoonish Iranian soldiers: too easily impressed with a flimsy fabrication to see beyond it.”

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