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Films >> Argo (2012) >>

The movie was fake. The mission was real.

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On November 4, 1979, the American embassy in Tehran was overrun by Iranian students, and sixty-six Americans were taken hostage. The world watched for 444 days as the media pushed images of violent protests and blindfolded Americans. But the Iran hostage crisis serves as the backdrop to Argo, a docudrama that follows CIA exfiltration specialist Tony Mendez execute a top-secret, little-known mission to bring back six Americans who narrowly escaped the embassy invasion. The six find refuge at the Canadian ambassador’s home while armed militants ruthlessly search for and kill anyone alleged of harboring Americans. The mission, declassified only at the turn of the century, is nothing like Bourne or Bond; it involves an unlikely story of a fake science fiction location scout and the cooperation of Hollywood, CIA, and Canada. As the film says, it’s the “best bad idea” the CIA has. While both comical and sobering, the film inspires viewers to revisit history and not only re-evaluate the progress of the past sixty years but reconsider the US-centric view of history. It encourages a better understanding of the twenty years prior to the 444-day Iran hostage crisis, forcing viewers to ask probing questions and become investigative and participatory: what was the purpose of the United States and Great Britain coup d’état to depose Mohammad Mossaddegh in 1953? Why was Shah Reza Pahlavi granted asylum in the United States after being overthrown by Iranian revolutionaries who had endured years of torture?