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An adviser to Iran's president on Sunday demanded an apology from a team of visiting Hollywood actors and movie industry officials, including Annette Bening, saying films such as 300 and The Wrestler were "insulting" to Iranians.
Without an apology, members of Iran's film industry should refuse to meet with representatives from the nine-member team, said Javad Shamaqdari, the art and cinema adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "In my viewpoint, it is a failure to have an official meeting with one who is insulting," Shamaqdari told The Associated Press.
The film 300 portrays the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE, in which a force of 300 Spartans held off a massive Persian army at a mountain pass in Greece for three days. It angered many Iranians for the way Persians were depicted as decadent, sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the noble Greeks.
Iranians also criticized The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke as a rundown professional wrestler who is preparing for a rematch with his old nemesis, "The Ayatollah." During a fight scene, "The Ayatollah" tries to choke Rourke with an Iranian flag before Rourke pulls the flagpole away, breaks it and throws it into the cheering crowd.
Neither movie was shown in Iran.