Analysing 300

Great review and analysis of the film 300.

300 is racist.

Anyone who is not Spartan, pure-blooded and pure-shaped Spartan, is lesser or evil. Xerxes’ emissaries are black, his soldiers are Asian and African and Persian and God knows what else. He employs the monsters of Africa against the plucky band of Spartans, and all are inferior, barbarous, cowardly. They hide behind numbers, they hide behind masks, they hide behind sorcery and arrows and treachery and anything else they can think of, while the true Spartan men are unashamed of their faces, their bodies, their pure god-derived blood. And yet…

300 is not racist.

The Spartans treat all who come before them the same, regardless of color. The worst contempt is reserved for the Ephors, men of Spartan blood and ancestry, bloodless and pale. At the end of the film, there is a message of unity, of joining the greater whole regardless of one’s origin or blood. And yet…

 
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Published by Adam Tinworth

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6 Comments

  1. You don’t perhaps think that there is a little danger of reading too much into, what is let’s not forget, a comic-book adaption of a story about something that happened thousands of years ago?

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  2. Ummm – no, I dont actually.  All cultural artefacts are reflections of the time in which they were produced, and it seems pretty clear that 300 reflects a certain strain of contempory American/Western cultural thinking whether intentionally or not.  My money is on at least part of it being intentional – Frank Millers work seems to focus on a will-to-power, violence maketh the man kind of approach (Sin City, Dark Knight etc).Sorry to rant!

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  3. The film is simply showing or at least guessing the spartan point of view. This is exaggerated however and the evidence is clear as we can see the extreme differences in appearance of the spartans and just about everything else. The Persians were the

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  4. The film is simply showing or at least guessing the spartan point of view. This is exaggerated however and the evidence is clear as we can see the extreme differences in appearance of the spartans and just about everything else. The Persians were the exact opposite of the Spartans.
    Gorgeous-RepulsiveCourageous-CowardlyValour – Cunning e.t.c
    If 300 is racist then films such as American History X are racist, but I haven’t seen a review so far from any critic claiming the above film racist but rather claim it to be a dramatic and beautiful literary work, yet 300 with the same violence and hatred towards other races is considered pure fascist, racist crap. If the Spartans were “racist” so be it, that doesn’t make the film a racist film. Snyder himself enlisted in the help of historians (he said this himself) for his work in order to gain some insight into Spartan life as well as using the Graphic novel which is based upon. I think people need to read more on Spartan society and their cultural values before they judge the movie itself to be racist. The fact is Spartans were very much, I guess you could say, like North Korea, they were very much isolated even from other Greek tribes unless they were fighting them.

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