‘Argo’ Continues to Piss Off the Rest of the World
Sure, Iran might be suing Hollywood over how much they hated Argo, but that makes sense as Iran doesn’t really come across as cool guys in the movie. But now New Zealand is pissed off. Yes, New Zealand, as a whole, is so angry about Argo!
Now, you may be thinking, "Wait, did New Zealand have anything to do with Argo?" That is what I thought! And that is part of the problem, it seems. You see, New Zealand is mentioned once in the movie—CIA agent Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston) tells Tony Mendez (played by the film’s director, Ben Affleck) that "the Kiwis" turned the American refugees away, forcing them to shack up with the Canadians. (The Canadians, by the way, are also mad about Argo.)
Naturally, the New Zealand Parliament has passed a motion claiming that Ben Affleck ""saw fit to mislead the world about what actually happened":
The strong reaction in New Zealand indicates the country remains insecure about its own culture, said Steve Matthewman, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Auckland. People are prone to bouts of unwarranted outrage when somebody from abroad says something bad about the country, he said, and simpering enjoyment when they say something good.
"It’s touched a really raw nerve," Matthewman said. "We do seem in New Zealand to be oversensitive to how the rest of the world perceives us."
The movie’s New Zealand reference may not be totally fair but has an element of truth.
Some in New Zealand have taken those words – "Kiwis turned them away" – as implying the country did nothing to help. Published interviews indicate that diplomats from Britain and New Zealand did help by briefly sheltering the Americans, visiting them and bringing them food, even driving them to the airport when they left.
Yet those interviews also indicate that both countries considered it too risky to shelter the Americans for long. That left the Canadians shouldering the biggest risk by taking them in.
Lawmaker Winston Peters, who brought last week’s uncontested motion before Parliament, said New Zealanders are unfairly portrayed as "a bunch of cowards," an impression that would be given to millions who watch the movie.
"It’s a diabolical misrepresentation of the acts of courage and bravery, done at significant risk to themselves, by New Zealand diplomats," he said.
Soon, Austria will file a suit against everyone associated with Argo because it beat Amour for the Best Picture Oscar. And New Orleans will cecede from the nation, claiming Beasts of the Southern Wild was robbed. Afghanistan will be all, "Hey guys, can y’all just stop bombing us? Make movies, not bombs!" Switzerland will stay neutral, obviously, but will probably enjoy all of this.
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