Earlier, I discussed the movies Argo and Lincoln in relation to cross-curricular connections that can be explored through analyses of movies and history. Since then, there have been many provocative developments that add to the angles to be scrutinized with Argo (including its many major awards and Academy Award nominations). Some of the most interesting include comparisons of the historical record to the narrative of the movie as well as recent commentary that has been recorded in the press from figures who were involved in the actual events. Of particular significance are the complete fictions in the movie, such as the chase scene through the airport and while the plane takes off, and the depiction of the roles of the Canadians who sheltered the Americans that had escaped from the embassy in Tehran.
Let’s ask ourselves as media investigators: why were these choices made? Are they valid? Do the distortions or invented events constitute fraudulence on the part of the filmmakers? Take into consideration a variety of storytelling and aesthetic decisions in the film – and one I suggest is from the closing credits in which director Ben Affleck and his collaborators inserted historical photos in comparison to images from the movie. I also recommend recent interviews and reports that feature reactions from the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor, and the American President at the time, Jimmy Carter, including these articles from the Associated Press and E!Online.
In my initial blog post, I referenced Canadian journalist Jian Ghomeshi’s article about the depiction of Iran and Iranians in the film, and here is another piece related to Ghomeshi and Argo: an interview with actor Victor Garber who plays Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor.