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Ben Affleck in 'Argo.' Awarded for political reasons?
Ben Affleck in 'Argo.' Awarded for political reasons? 

Iranians unhappy with 'Argo' Oscar

Many Tehran residents say Ben Affleck’s drama, which won Best Picture award, misrepresents what happened in 1979 Iran hostage crisis
Published: 02.27.13, 13:49 / Israel Culture

VIDEO – Ben Affleck’s "Argo" may have been the darling of Hollywood at this year’s Academy Awards, but the drama, which is based on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, has not been so warmly received by Iranian movie fans.


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State media has been mostly silent following the news of the film's Best Picture award at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.


On the streets of Tehran, however, residents gave the film mixed reviews, with many saying it misrepresents what happened during 444 days in which 52 Americans were held hostage in the US Embassy.


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"I did not watch the entire film," says Amirkhani, a Tehran resident. "It was not appealing enough to make me watch the rest. I could not tolerate it. My feeling is that they awarded the Oscar to Argo because of political or other reasons rather than artistic ones. I believe this prize was not for the film's structure or its scenario."


Many Hollywood films like “Argo” are not screened in cinemas in Iran, but pirated copies of almost all newly-released movies are sold under-the-counter in shops or by vendors on streets, and Iranians seemed to have their own opinions about the Oscar competition.


"Both 'Django Unchained' and 'Lincoln' won a few prizes. I think both of them were better than Argo in terms of structure and theme. They deserved more attention," says another Tehran resident, Behnam Farahani.


"Argo was just a political movie. It was a narration of a political event, and it suited their own purposes."


Iranians have complained that “Argo” exaggerates the violence among crowds that stormed the compound and paints their country in an unflattering light.



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