300 Spartans, 1 Million Persians and the Altering of History

13 thoughts on “300 Spartans, 1 Million Persians and the Altering of History”

  1. I know where this came from. You forgot to mention the one of the most annoying and ugly points of the movie. The voice-over narration. I wanted to kill that dude myself. The film’s imagery was bad enough, but his voice-over literally chucked it one the top. The only good this movie did was to reveal the divide in my geek world. If the dudes I geeked-out with forgot I was black, Trini and they were white, Americans , this movie definitely remind them.

  2. As a black person I am disgusted that Xerxes was portrayed as a homosexual black giant, did the film makers feel that the only way they could show how strange,evil this person is was to embodied this brown skinned caucasian ancient king in to the body of a menacing black,dangerous man, because the real Persian/Irans people look too white ???

    1. I think you may have the right of it. It seemed that to portray the Persians as truly “other,” merely Eastern wasn’t good enough; they also had to be monstrous, and some of them even “black.” In the movie however, Xerxes is now a bronze non-distinct “other.” some of his generals however remain “black.” I think this is how Orientalism blends with racializations.

      1. It is a total joke, they may as well show other evil character from history as black, ie Hitler, Stalin, all the insane and evil Roman Emperors, Genghis Khan etc.

  3. 2013 and I’m watching this movie … I feel disgusted with the cheap gimmicks & portrayals!

    Thanks for putting this page up for the World to learn!!!

  4. I watched this movie after already learning about both societies historically (I love ancient history and honestly would much rather live in Achamaenid Persia then any Greek state) and I thought this movie was bullshit. I only saw it because, “Hey Gerard Butler! I like him in movies. I’ll watch this.” My response after, “F*ck your inaccuracies and rascism you bastards.” Yeah. Hate Hollywood now. I’m white but come on! Where are the awesome black figures from history? Where is my Frederick Douglas Movie? Why are historically non-white people white? Hell where are the cool Latino, Amerindian, and Asian people from history? I’m gonna actually see that newer Nelson Mandeal movie. Hope they (Hollywood) don’t screw that up. (Also, why the hell was Matt Damon like, the only non-well off white guy in Elysium? Could they not find a Latino actor? I mean Latinoes can be white to but Matt Damon, woulda preferred someone like Vin Diesel who can at least pass for non-white.)

    1. Thanks for your comments. We’re about to get a second dose of it all. Will be interested to see if the sequel is able to garner as much appeal as the first–with such issues as representation/racial identity in Hollywood often at the forefront.

  5. I didn’t like 300 at all, but not for the reasons you mentioned. When I was a boy one of my favorite movies was 300 Spartans with Richard Egan. This was a much better movie in every way than 300, just as Alexander the Great with Richard Burton was much better than the modern Alexander movie, which in my opinion is rubbish. As far as the accuracy, you make some good points. Of course people won’t stomach an accurate portrayal of the Spartans. They were like ancient Nazis in some ways. No wonder Hitler admired them so much. Personally I prefer the Athenians or even the Thebans. The Thebans eventually figured out how to defeat the Spartans — by using their brains — and the Spartans were crushed. Plus the Spartans could not rely on their allies, because their allies knew the Spartans would kill them as well as the Persians if it advanced Spartan self-interest. The Spartans only cared about Sparta. Also, they simply could not adapt to changes in tactics. Having said that, I think the 300 Spartans with Richard Egan is a great movie, in spite of the accuracy problem, because it sums up the Western ideals of freedom and bravery in our battle with the scum of the East. I couldn’t care less how great ancient Persia might have been, the fact is that today they are enemies, as is the whole Moslem world, Communist China, Russia, and many other parts of the world. It’s still a few free countries vs. the barbarians. So we need to keep to what was best in Athens and Sparta while avoiding the worst. I would prefer though to see a movie in which Athens plays a great role and in which we see some of the Athenian ideals as well as the Spartan.

  6. just watched the second 300 movie. It was quite entertaining but I knew right from the outset when they started blabbing about freedom and glory that it would be “another one of those movies”. however, after reading this blog, I didn’t know how terribly inaccurate everything was. I think its a travesty to show this to the american public. These movies reinforce the ideas of the western world against everybody else. It reinforces the idea that it is the duty of men to join the military to fight against the uncivilized non-western world. These movies should be labelled as propaganda. If the nazis produced similar movies (which I’ll bet they did) then we would call it fanatical and radical.

  7. being an actual Persian who is actually from Iran I’m more than happy to see a dark-skinned man portray us because I’m sick of movies like “Prince Of Persia” making us look like pasty creams. I’m a little irked by the fact that’s he’s bald and absolutely hairless because we’re hairy as fuck. I’m also more than ok with him being homosexual because most Persian kings of that time, along with most Romans, were homosexuals. Homosexual relations were very common. Is it weird to see Persians as purely antagonists. It really wasn’t a black-and-white situation.

    So all in all a lot of it was…a historical misinterpretation and more fictional than anything, but at least it wasn’t as bad as Prince Of Persia.

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