An article that was written about and against the movie of Zack Snyder "300".
The great essayist and philosopher George Steiner once said that: «Greek myths encode certain primary biological and social confrontations and self-perceptions in the history of man, they endure as an animate legacy in collective remembrance and recognition. We come home to them as to our psychic roots». He also points out that: «Greek mythology has become a constant centre or pivot of reference for all subsequent poetic invention and philosophic allegory».
Thus, the Greek myth through the centuries became an ecumenical possession and this was an intellectual offer that returned back to itself. However, is it possible for our historical Battles to become ecumenical too?
I saw the movie "300" and I was horrified. It's a movie that pillages our History. It pillages the meaning of "sacred" which lies in the memory of our country. This movie twists and distorts the collective consciousness of the race which formed our nation. It represents the priests as monstrous beings licking disrespectfully the witch (High Priestess). Queen Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas king of Sparta is depicted to give freely her body the very same night that Leonidas decided to die in Thermopyles. (Spartan women indeed had the freedom to decide about their sexual partners, but they never give themselves for money. They were very proud women). In the movie, Leonidas is depicted as leaving with the 300 men, without the approval of the Senate, the" Appella", an unacceptable fact for the rules of Sparta. (The truth is that because of the Karneans, they delayed in sending the army). Then, all armies of several cities that were fighting under the orders of king Leonidas never abandoned their positions on their own free will. It was under the orders of Leonidas that they left "so that they would save themselves". And this is how Leonidas finally stayed only with the 700 Thespians. And more, and countless others, that falsify and abuse all aspects of history. There were only some digital impressions, such as the cloud of Persian arrows or the artificial leaps of Leonidas on some rocks in a place that didn't resemble Greece at all. Impressions.
We live in an age of impressions, ignoring the essence.
And I ask: will there be no formal protest? Since when have the Histories of people become stray. It's been decades now that this has been happening. It was the movie "Troy", another movie about Alexander the Great, with his femininity dominating the entire script. Now with the 300 (fortunately here unlucky Xerxes is the only feminine icon - but we ought to say that the Achaemenid Empire was one with a great culture worthy of respect. It was those monstrous beings that constituted Xerxes's army, the ridicule of history). But, surely, we are living in such a dangerous, explosive present that obviously there is no time for those with the authority to do anything about it. There was never time to deal with the essentials. But let's keep in mind that History sometimes can prove vengeful too, as the great Aeschylus' once said: «For the land itself is their ally» Which means that the land is alive and the History of people is alive in the sense of collective memory.
And I humbly ask the question: Is there no "legal" barrier to this onslaught of neo-barbarians? In a short time, they will probably defile the true history of the battles of Souli and Messolonghi. Who will stop them? In order to make a movie based on a novel they ask for permission, they sign some guarantees of respect. How do they "acquire" the History of people? Did they sign guarantees for the legendary "comic"? And why should the citizen of this land suffer the mental distress of the ridicule every single time?
Eleutherotypia, 5 April 2007