Reply to Stefania Lapenna

Stefania Lapenna wrote in her recent article The Ancient Persian Empire that we in the West suffer from "ignorance, as well as the lack of a deep knowledge of Iran's history, society and culture." She also eloquently defends what she feels are the unheralded achievements of ancient Iranian civilization.Some of her points are well-taken. Some are exaggerated. Some are simply mistaken. Ms. Lapenna first takes issue with the movie 300, calling it "highly flawed factually" and saying that "the Iranian community voiced dismay at what they see as an insult to Iran's pre-Islamic past." She is right but her point is irrelevant. Such criticisms could be made about every film ever made that concerns some aspect of history. 300 makes no pretense at being a documentary. Neither does it claim historical accuracy. Its purpose is to entertain and thus generate income. In this the film succeeded beyond the dreams of its makers. And in fact 300 did receive...(Read Full Post)

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