According to the Toronto Star, "Hellenic scholar" Ephraim Lytle sees a lot of "disturbing inaccuracies" that may go beyond the usual Hollywood dramatic license of the kind that had the courtiers of Louis XV disco-dancing at Versailles in the ghastly Marie Antoinette. Mmm..okay, if you can get some egghead from a politically correct university to bitch and moan about something, that tells me there might be something worthwhile in it.
In an interview with the Star, Lytle says that "History is altered all the time. What matters is how and why. Thus I see no reason to quibble over the absence in 300 of breastplates or modest thigh-length tunics. I can see the graphic necessity of sculpted stomachs and three hundred Spartan-sized packages bulging in spandex thongs."
Here was the first problem I had with watching the trailers, the possibility that the movie might push this completely historically incorrect, inaccurate, and thoroughly pernicious idea that the ancient Greeks were bugger boys. That's a pretty stupid idea, when you think about it--if they were, then obviously there would have been no more ancient Greeks in short order. But according to some of our comrades who have seen the flick, it is fully hetero and indeed, the manly Spartans sneer at the effeminate Athenians for their boy-buggering ways.
Lytle goes on to make some comments that, to me, hang out a few warning flags. In speaking of the Spartan government, he says, "Elected annually, the five Ephors were Sparta's highest officials, their powers checking those of the dual kings. There is no evidence they opposed Leonidas' campaign, despite 300's subplot of Leonidas pursuing an illegal war to serve a higher good."
Whoa! Hold it right there! "An illegal war to serve a higher good," against the Persians. (And who are the Persians today?) Is this starting to ring an alarm bell or two, people?
The enemies of the Spartans in the movie are, and in historical fact were, the Persians. Many of the Persians (judging from the trailers) are portrayed as non-White, and this seems to have led some Movement people to think of the movie as a story of White Western Man fighting off the non-White hordes at the pass, similar to the final epic battle scene in Lord of the Rings.
Okay, this is fair enough. The Persian empire of the time was in fact multi-ethnic, and probably somewhat multi-racial. However, the Persians themselves were a Medic people, and from what we can understand, their nobility at least were as blond and blue-eyed as any Greek. Alexander the Great's Persian bride Princess Roxelana has been portrayed on jars and frescos and whatnot as a stunning blonde. And who are the descendants of the Persians, at least to some faint degree allowing for three thousand years of race-mixing? The Iranians. (In fact, three guesses as to the historic and linguistic origins of the word "Iran.") And what nation is Jug-Ears about to pick an unprovoked fight with that will drive gas up to $7.00 a gallon or so, a fight that the American sheeple need psyching up to swallow, since the usual lies about WMDs aren't working?
Hmmmm...okay, granted, I need to see the movie first. But guys, I recommend we go into this with something of an open mind, and not jump the gun proclaiming it to be some great White epic until we take a good look at all the little sub rosa things moving in the shade. When the final credits roll, we need to check the list out for possibly more than the usual "Bergs" and "Steins."
Hey, maybe it's a great flick. But perhaps we need to take it in the context of today and ask, "Cui bono?"