Orwellian-scale falsehoods that seek to teach a generation of semi-literate viewers his vile version of history.
== The earlier "300" lie-festival ==
For example, in portraying ancient Spartans as noble fighters for freedom, Miller and Snyder never hinted at their legendary brutality toward their Helot slaves, several thousand of whom carried luggage and wine for King Leonidas’s three hundred Spartan bullies, into the Thermopylae pass. Slaves who were then thrown into the front battle line, with spears but no armor. (Real hoplites did not expose their abs, but went into combat covered, tip-to-toe. It’s those never-mentioned slaves who fought half naked.)
Then moving on ten years to show the brave stand of citizen volunteers against Persia’s huge navy in the Artemesium Straits, their fighting retreat, after the Spartans let them down at Thermopylae. Plus the deft way Athenian women handled the evacuation of their city, and the bold skill with which their great admiral, Themistocles, lured Xerxes’s fleet into a trap, at Salamis.
In my denunciation of that first “300” travesty, I showed that Leonidas would never - in real life - have sneered at the victors of Marathon. And he would have at minimum turned his head, during his own battle, at least once, to give a nod of grudging respect toward the heroic Athenian fleet, guarding his flank, holding out much longer than his own pathetic three days.
|Proposed cover of Xerxes - uncompleted|
Ships ramming ships! Slow-motion stabs and decapitations! Ab-flexing and homoerotic kill-em-all prancing! Hey, I can wallow in that stuff as well as the next guy. I was able to put down my pencil and enjoy the wowzer visuals. (Heck I have to confess: I even pay to see Transformers flicks!) As I said, we are many people, inside of each of our complex heads… and one of me is forever-twelve! So give let me give this thing an 8.5 score when it comes to gleeful, gladiatorial choreography.
I’m not the only one to call-out this franchise for “inaccuracies.” Let’s start with an excerpt from Wikipedia… “Paul Cartledge, a professor of Greek culture at Cambridge University, noted that the film contains historical errors. For example, Darius was not killed as depicted as neither Xerxes nor Darius were present at the Battle of Marathon. Artemisia in reality argued against sailing into the (Salamis) straits and survived the Persian Wars. The Spartan navy contributed a mere 16 warships to the Greek fleet of 400 warships in the ending battle scene, and not a huge army.”
From the same site: “Was Artemisia's family murdered by Greek hoplites, after which she was taken as a slave?… No. This backstory for Artemisia was invented by Frank Miller and the filmmakers to explain the motivations behind Artemisia's ruthless thirst for vengeance in the film.”
While we're at it, here's a link to an extensive article by Alex Pappademas on Frank Miller's Dark Night.
These hopes are declared inherently futile by Miller and Card, who always, always prescribe: “find yourselves a demigod to admire. It’s your only hope.”
(I admit that Card spins out demigods who are less brutal, more conflicted and tormented, than Miller's, perpetually wringing their hands -- before always deciding to take over... for our own good, of course.)