Friday, January 4, 2013

Movies: Argo

Revolutions belong to the worst things on earth. The Iranian revolution is no exception. 1979, after the Shah Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavī, who is still hated by the left wing in Europe & US, has been overthrown, the mob started to rule in the streets of Tehran. Shortly after the Shah has fled to the US, the American embassy was stormed by agitated masses who acted like zombies. 6 US citizens could escape and found refuge in the Canadian Embassy. Their hidden asylum got more and more endangered by Iranian fanatics who where feverishly searching for them. Under huge time pressure the CIA - in cooperation with Canadian authorities - accomplished a clandestine operation to save these people and smuggle them out of the country. As camouflage they faked a movie production claiming that the 6 refuges are member of a Canadian film team which had to inspect Iranian locations for an alleged Science Fiction film called "Argo".

The movie "Argo" tells this historical true story in a way Alfred Hitchcock would have been proud of (imdb). Director Ben Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio deliver a nail biting thriller which lets the audience participate in the growing dangers and the extremely narrow escape.

But the film offers much more. It is partly a documentary and shows how one man, the CIA agent Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck himself, organizes a sophisticated and imaginative rescue operation on an extremely hostile terrain. "Argo" also shows how people respond in a claustrophobic and dangerous situation and how they have to develop trust and faith into their rescue. Furthermore, the film is a lecture how bigotry and fanaticism leads to blind hate against innocent people which transforms humans into fierce beasts.

Affleck`s fine ensemble converses the story in a convincing way. "Argo" shows what cinema could be.

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