Argo (2012) R

A compelling drama that tells the suspenseful story of the effort to extricate six American Embassy workers that were hiding in the Canadian ambassador’s house during the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1980.  Based on an incredible true story.  The CIA concocted a plot to rescue the hostages by posing as a film crew scouting for locations in Iran.  Widely viewed as breakthrough movie for the supposedly struggling actor Ben Affleck.  This is nonsense because I think he has been a good actor all along.  Some Canadians have complained that the film credits the CIA too much and does not accurately give enough credit to the Canadians for their role in the mission’s success.  Former President, Jimmy Carter, liked the film, but also said it was mostly Canada’s work that carried the plan to fruition.  The film also incorrectly states that the British and New Zealand Embassy’s did nothing to help the hostages. This is not entirely accurate.  There are numerous anachronisms dealing with the airplanes, cars props, and other set pieces that are not true to the time period.  The historical summary that introduces the film is a bit biased and not exactly correct.  The film contains a brief scene with animated nudity.  There are some violent scenes as enraged Iranian revolutionaries take out their revenge on presumed spies and American collaborators.  As with most films today, there is over-indulgent use of profanity, which adds absolutely nothing to the story.  Overall, the film is worthwhile, but has such a limited focus that it is difficult to justify the use of limited class time by showing it.  The Iranian Revolution get so little coverage in most World History classes, that you are better off using other materials to cover this event.  It is far less controversial than the 1991 film, “Not Without My Daughter” (to which this film makes an oblique reference) but is still not going to help you meet your learning objectives very well.

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