Ben Affleck Talks About Espionage, Hollywood And The Truth In Argo
During the press conference a journalist asked a question regarding the portrayal of the Iranian population and politics during the late 1970s, particularly under Shah rule. In his response Affleck said he tried to show how women earned more rights when the Shah was in power (demonstrated by a photograph of female scientists working in a lab and women in non-traditional clothing outside of a nightclub), but balanced that with the understanding of how that caused tensions within the Shiite population of Iran.
Said Affleck, “While I didn’t want to be didactic, I didn’t want to indicate to the audience ‘This is how they should feel,’ nor do I think Chris or [producer George Clooney] or Grant or anyone, we did want to factually tell this story and talk about how we believe our support of the Shah was right, in part because of his progressive stance on a lot of these issues. And we look the other way in terms of the some of the political oppression, the absence of democracy, some of the literal atrocities that took place. That narrative very closely mirrors the narrative of other countries, primarily in the Middle East. It wasn’t really about placing a value judgment on what happened to women after the Islamic revolution.”
On the lighter side, though, because of the strange sci-fi movie script at the center of it all, the funny film industry types involved, and just the overall craziness of the situation, there’s no denying that the film is aided by a sense of “truth is stranger than fiction.” But that’s not something lost on Affleck. “It wouldn’t seem really interesting,” Affleck said when asked if people would believe the film’s plot was real if it weren’t based on a true story. “It’s like, ‘And then Hollywood came in! And then the NHL helped them get out!’”
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