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Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 09:50 | SYDNEY
Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 09:50 | SYDNEY

Movie trailer: Argo

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9 May 2012 14:55

Ben Affleck directs and stars in this new film based on a true story that came out of the siege of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The big story was of course the 66 Americans held hostage for more than a year after the Tehran embassy was overrun by students and militants. But six people from that embassy slipped out:

At times, the trailer hints at the idea that the film is a farce (a bit like the hugely enjoyable Charlie Wilson's War), though maybe Argo will be a bit drier than that. One clever touch: the titles are a visual play on the fact that the American diplomats in Tehran shredded loads of classified documents just before their embassy was overrun. The Iranian occupiers then painstakingly re-assembled those documents.

The siege of the US embassy had a substantial, maybe even decisive, impact on the 1980 US presidential election (Jimmy Carter reckons he would have defeated Reagan had the US mission to rescue the embassy hostages succeeded), and set the tone for US-Iran relations ever since. Here's a twenty-fifth anniversary retrospective of the siege from The Atlantic in 2004.