300 - 2007
Directed by Zack Snyder
This adaptation of the highly-stylized graphic novel by Frank Miller tells the story of the 300 Spartan soldiers who faced the overwhelming forces of Xerxes's invading army at the pass of Thermopylae. Though it is easy to dismiss the film's faults by pointing to its comic book origins, the liberty that the filmmaker's take with history lends itself to the continued demonization of all things "east" in its relation to the "free" peoples of the "west."
Color, 1 hour 57 minutes, English
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The Spartans come across the ruins of a town destroyed by the advancing Persians who have kindly left behind a tree made of the former inhabitants' corpses.
King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his Spartans are depicted as fighting bare-chested.
Persians falling to their doom in proper comic book fashion.
The rain of arrows that will "blot out the sun." The Spartans laugh off such cowardice.
King Xerxes is depicted as an androgynous eight-foot tall metal-clad man, full of piercings. He is often referred to as a God-King though the Achaemenids never made such lofty claims.
The sub-human "Uber Immortal" enters the fray.
The Persians let loose the "barbarians" of their subject nations.
Xerxes' executioner is quite possibly the most insane depiction of an Iranian in all of cinema history.
By Ari Siletz www.arisiletz.com
In one scene of this movie two women can be seen openly kissing each other in the court of Xerxes, the Persian monarch. A few cuts later, a man with a disability is welcomed into the Persian court by the great king himself. Even though Persians are a Caucasian race, they have chosen a king who appears to be of African descent. In the movie "300" the Persian Empire seems overrun by American liberal ideology. I half wondered if the bloody battles weren't really over universal health care and gay marriage. Continued
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