The red carpet may be all rolled up, but that doesn't mean the Oscar controversy will end there. With Ben Affleck's "Argo" taking home the widely expected prize for Best Picture last night at the Oscars, the Iranian government — who have never been big fans of the movie in general — haven't wasted any time in weighing in.
Mehr news agency cited the involvement of Michelle Obama in announcing the Best Picture winner as a “politically motivated” maneuver, while the country's state television called the victory "an advertisement for the CIA." Of course, this is what certain quarters in America also say about "Zero Dark Thirty," but we suppose that's neither here nor there. But really, it's not a shock that Iran takes issue with the movie, something culture minister Mohammad Hosseini says is part of a "soft war" against the nation, with Hollywood presenting a “distorted history” of what went down during the country's post-revolutionary period. The government claims that the protests outside the American Embassy were not as violent as they were depicted to be in the film.
But hey, they'll get a chance to tell the story their own way as Iranian director Ataollah Salmanian has already announced that he will make "The General Staff," his own version of the events in "Argo." He promises it will be "an appropriate response to the ahistoric film 'Argo,' " though he's waiting to get state funding. But considering the events of last night, and Hamshahri newspaper noting "[Iran] has not produced anything about the [U.S. Embassy storming] after more than three decades” we presume the wheels are in motion to provide a state-sanctioned rebuttal to Affleck's film, which is already widely bootlegged in the country. [EW/Guardian]