Dan Brennan (WSWS) notes some of them:
Far more problematic are the implications of the film’s portrayal of the hostage crisis and the rescue operation. The events of 1979-1980 did not emerge fresh from the ether. The US government and the CIA in particular played a direct role in the 1953 coup that reinstalled the Shah of Iran in power. A quarter century of absolute rule and brutal suppression of all resistance in Iran depended first and foremost on support from Washington. Wide layers of the country’s population were outraged by America’s role by 1979.
While this history of neocolonial intervention is acknowledged in a minute or two of narration at the film’s outset, what dominates throughout the remaining two hours is something quite different. We’re meant to embrace the CIA hero, chuckle at Hollywood’s collaboration with the intelligence apparatus and view the Iranian masses as the enemy.
The brief reference to past (and ongoing) crimes is included to provide a semblance of balance, but then this history is essentially pushed aside and forgotten. It plays no active role in Argo’s events and serves, in the end, to provide a certain veneer of objectivity to a work that promotes the operations of US imperialism. Decades of repression, torture and murder are one thing, but, after all, six American lives are at stake!
For the filmmakers, who included co-producer George Clooney, “It was always important to us that the movie not be politicized,” Affleck told interviewer Romain Raynaldy. “We went to great pains to try to make it very factual and fact-based, knowing that it was going to be coming out before an election in the United States when a lot of things get politicized. We obviously couldn’t forecast how terrible things would become now, but even when we made the movie, we saw some resonance to countries that were in tumult ... Just because a part of the world is undergoing strife and tumult, it doesn’t mean you stop examining it, looking at it or talking about it. I think that would be a bad thing.”
One always reads such comments with amazement.
I wish I could disagree but I agree with Brennan. I wish I could say Ben gives an amazing performance which mitigates some of this. That's not reality though.
What is reality is Ben Affleck can direct. He did not write the script. The criticism WSWS offers has to do with the script.
Take it up with the writers and the producers. But Director Affleck has made a riveting film.
He's a friend of C.I.'s. But if I wanted to kiss his ass, I'd tell you, "Oh, amazing acting." Sorry, not what I saw. But amazing direction.
He has a real eye and real sense of how to tell a story visually.
There are many things about this film I will slam. But I have nothing but praise for the direction. Affleck deserves to win Best Director at the Academy Awards, in my opinion.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"