Mar 21, 2007

Connecting the dots between today's International Day against racism and the film "300"

Tonight I heard on the news that the film "300" has broken record sales in Greece. 700,000 tickets within a week of its premiere in Greece.

In recent cinematography past, however, Greek movie-goers booed "Alexander the Great" because Alex came off as gay. (!)
They booed "Troy" because the Trojans came off as the good guys. (!!)
They booed "Disney's Hercules" because it was unheard of to make a mythological character as a cartoon. (!!!)
Greeks felt they were getting the short end of the stick from Hollywood.

Then finally "300" arrived: Super-duper depiction of warmongering, nationalistic Sparta that has re-ignited many chauvinist Greeks, accentuating their so-called ancestral illustriousness, that Greeks are descended from a better "species". This re-enforces racial views about other peoples, minorites and nations. Seen from this scope, I find this film's success in Greece quite unnerving, particularly when Greeks like to brag how they're not racist, but events and facts show differently.

Viewing overload of Greek machismo on the big screen with dolby surround, nonetheless has added a boosted swing to Neo-Hellenes' crotch grabbing "yeah, that's right, we're bad, always have been". pa-lease!

p.s. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

p.p.s. There have been gazillions of TV and radio spots promoting "300", and I wonder, hasn't anyone else noticed that Leonidas has a slight Scottish accent?



melusina said...

Yea, I'd imagined that would be one result. Of course the movie isn't perfect historically, from what I've heard (from a professor of ancient Greek philosophy and history).

Still, Greeks today should remember that Sparta itself was different from Athens, and so on, and that racism of a sort existed even between these city-states. I don't think Greece wants to get so nationalistic it goes back to that.

Flubberwinkle said...

I know we shouldn't try to read more into a film made for entertainment than for historic reasons, but when the mayor of Sparta goes on the news telling the world "he approves, because it shows Spartans in a good way".... HUH? WTF?