Canada lost a great deal of credit from their part in the mission to save six members of the US Embassy staff during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. I have discussed primarily the falsity of the film Argo based on this lack of due acknowledgement, but there is still more to note, both on the part of Canada’s efforts and general incongruences throughout the movie.
Canadians had further purpose in the mission by getting involved with an active presence in the airport in Iran. They “scouted” the airport, and secured visas for the hostages, as well as “establishing random patterns” by sending people in and out of the country, and also buying them airline tickets. The hostages were supposed to be from Canada, in accordance with the false premise of the mission to rescue them from their holding in Iran. To make this more believable, Canadians even helped the six embassy staff members to talk like Canadians, “coaching” them in the nations’ manner of speaking.
Each of these forms of aid, varying in degrees of risk and exertion, are points that significantly culminated in the success of the rescue. Much of these was disregarded by the filmmakers, however. It is understandable that the movie had some purpose in renewing the truth of the executers of the mission written in history to the Americans. Because when the mission ended, the whole rescue was ascribed to the work done by Canada, the filmmakers took this recount of the event on as an opportunity to give back to America the glory of successfully completing such a rescue mission. To go so far in the other direction as to basically discount all of Canada’s role in the rescue yields a far worse result. Rather than have the true event reported as performed solely by the part of Canada, for the sake of CIA security and such valid reasons, instead making a movie that ignores the great work they did and puts all the acknowledgement on America alone for no particular reason than that it was an American film has a much less valid purpose and does actually insult the other nation by the circumstances that provoked the misplacement of credit.
To simply go back and discuss a bit more of the incongruences with the real rescue compared to how the movie portrayed the events, the film did what many Hollywood productions do- it heightened suspense far beyond probability for the sake of thorough climactic impact.This came up rather blatantly during the scene at the airport of the actual escape.The movie portrayed this culmination of all that had gone into the mission as a thrilling, adrenaline-pumping fight to the last moment to get the hostages out of Iran. A series of complications arose during the walk through the airport to their plane. First was the fact that the Americans had decided to call off the mission last-minute, which in the movie meant that the plane tickets might not even be waiting for them to pick up to get out of Iran. That didn’t stop them after all, and so they carried on- that is until they were stopped by some security guards. In response, a hostage decided to try getting them out of trouble by speaking Farsi with the guards, and it all works out yet again. –But then the carpet weavers that the Iranian government had hired to put together shredded documents cause more problems! Someone pieces together the face of one of the hostages currently en route to the plane terminal, and suddenly people are coming after the getaway team, chasing them down right up until the plane launches and they are on their way to safe lands. The wild thing is- not one bit of this really happened. In actuality, the walk through the airport went seamlessly. The tickets were purchased (by the Canadians, as I had mentioned) ahead of time, and the carpet weavers were really piecing documents together, but never ended up with the picture of a hostage, as occurred in the movie’s fairly ludicrous portrayal of the scene. These inaccuracies don’t really take away from the movie too much, though. They don’t give the Canadians credit for the tickets they purchased the team, but aside from that, they simply add a lot of thrill and excitement to a more quietly tense reality.
Although Argo is not specifically science related, it is a clear demonstration of the folly of falsehoods in films. A movie about an actual, historical event, without a true representation of the developments of the event, provokes problems for audience’s understanding of the events. When you walk into a theatre, set to view a movie of the same pretense and a similar level of intensity as the true story, it is easy to come away from the viewing feeling as though you have a proper understanding of what happened. When the movie is, in actuality, so far from the truth beyond the real premise and basic circumstances, this means a viewer has left with a very erroneous understanding instead.