How much do you know about the Iran hostage crisis? Do you remember studying it in school? Are you old enough that you remember it actually happening? For most of us the entire incident is probably just a hazy understanding that at some point there were some American hostages held in Iran but eventually they were all freed. So hey, no harm no foul right? Definitely wrong.
by: Geoff Chapman
he crisis started in the winter of 1979 when student protestors stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran taking some 52 American hostages. The Iranian Revolution was in full swing, and these US citizens we’re held captive for 444 days before being released after a failed military rescue attempt, and a peace accord was signed in January of 1981. Argo does not tell the story of those 52 hostages.
Instead Argo tells the story of the six Americans who escaped the embassy, and spent months in hiding at the Canadian ambassador’s house before being extracted from the country in a CIA covert rescue mission. Based on what became known as the "Canadian Caper," Argo covers a small, but significant part of a larger story of deterioriation in US/Iranian relations in the early ‘80s.
Incredibly, their cover story for the escape attempt was that the American diplomats were location scouting for an upcoming Canadian sci-fi film called "Argo." To complete the cover story, the CIA set up a fake production company, enlisted the help of real Hollywood insiders and craftsmen, and managed to convince Iranian security officers that a group of US diplomats was really a film crew.
With stakes this high creating sustained tension is more important than ever. The first 10 minutes of Argo show us the storming of the embassy by angry student protestors. It is very intense, and emotionally charged. Unfortunately, Argo never reaches that same height of tension again, and that is its biggest failing.
In Theaters: October 12, 2012
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures.