Argo was one of my favorite movies this year. I loved seeing the story of how a fake movie had such an impact on world events. However, evidently there was some serious poetic license taken with the story.
Saturday’s U. K. Mail told the story of the seizing of the American Embassy and the taking of hostages from another perspective. Martin Williams wrote the article. He was a First Secretary at the British Embassy in Iran when militants invaded the US Embassy in November 1979. In the movie, the British were portrayed as refusing the help the Americans who had evaded capture during the storming of the embassy. Mr. Williams tells another story.
The article relates the role Mr. Williams played that day in 1979:
So it was not entirely surprising when a mob stormed the American Embassy on November 4. We didn’t know then how long it would last.
But we had no hesitation in helping when, at about 5pm the following day, I was told that several people had evaded capture and I should go and find them. I set off in my dusty orange Austin Maxi, which Sue and I had driven all the way from England in late 1977. It was pretty distinct and the only one in Iran; it also had a prominent GB sticker on the back.
Please follow the link above to read the entire story in the U. K. Mail. It is an amazing story of people helping people in a very difficult time.
Mr. Williams concludes:
So what prompted Ben Affleck and his people, including producer George Clooney, to portray the Brits in such a derogatory way, I don’t know. If the film had portrayed what we did, it might have added even more dramatic tension.
Let me say that, although I was disappointed by the inaccuracies, I thought Argo was a great piece of entertainment. I can see why it won the Oscar for Best Film, but it is a semi-fictional account only.
Not that I’m surprised by its narrow viewpoint, which was geared to show the CIA as the hero.
It is not the first time that Hollywood has chosen to depict a successful world event as entirely a result of their intervention.
As a boy I can remember one of my schoolmasters commenting on the fact that most war films gave the impression that the Americans had won the Second World War single-handed.
But this time it’s personal. I was there and I took part, as did others. So I am concerned that Argo could become accepted as the definitive historical account.
The truth is very different, and I think it only right to get the correct information out to the public.
Now we know the truth.