In 2012, director and actor Ben Affleck released a film entitled Argo based on the details of the rescue of the six escaped diplomats. The plot begins at the siege of the embassy, showing the six diplomats escaping. Later the CIA obtains this information and agent Tony Mendez devises a plan in which the six will pose as movie executives looking for a location to shoot their film – the fake film is also called Argo – and they simply fly out of the country under those pretenses. For his plan to work, Mendez must not only convince the Iranian government that the film is legitimate, but also, in order to provide a solid backstory against Iranian crosschecking, convince the world that the film is actually going to be produced. In order to accomplish this, Mendez enlists the aid of Hollywood producer Lester Siegel, whose character is entirely fictionalized. Once they have developed enough backstory to carry out the evacuation, Mendez travels to Tehran under a false Canadian passport, and brings along similar fake passports for the six diplomats. The diplomats then have to learn their cover stories in less than twenty-four hours to have a tour of the Bazar and convince the government that they are who they say they are and then pass through Iranian security in the Tehran airport, who diligently attempt to capture American spies. I...
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... the events. The premise of the movie is factual, but some of the details use artistic license to amplify the entertainment value of the movie. This is the problem with all films in their implementation as a source for research. Their purpose is not to accurately represent a situation, but rather to sell tickets, which lends itself to a great deal of artistic liberty in order to sell the most tickets possible. Argo, in particular strays a great deal from the facts, but does provide a solid, general historic context for the movie particularly in the opening scenes. Additionally, it is very easy to find out the real details with simple research. That is what films should be employed as when attempting to understand global developments. They are starting off points to give a general feel, which will be added on to by research of texts and more fact based sources.
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