My appetite for goofy propaganda is nearly endless. Old Soviet videos about capitalist sharks? Hilarious! Anti-communist cartoons from the '40s? Silly stuff! But the new movie about to hit theatres in Iran hits a little too close for comfort.
It's called Battle of Persian Gulf 2. The 88-minute-long animated feature shows Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard handily beating the crap out of the US Navy. There's a nimble tank that shoots a big gun at US troops. There's a dude pressing a red button to launch big missiles at the US fleet. There are a bunch of extremely large silos that open up to launch what appear to be nuclear warheads. The crappy CGI might seem goofy at first, but the geopolitical implications of this film are downright terrifying.
"I hope that the film shows Trump how American soldiers will face a humiliating defeat if they attack Iran," Farhad Azima, the film's director, told Reuters in an interview. "Hollywood has created many films against Iran; there are many computer games in which US soldiers conquer our country. We made this film as an answer to that propaganda."
Fair enough, Farhad. The US loves its war movies, and America almost always wins in the end. (13 Hours, Michael Bay's recent film about the Benghazi attacks, is a rare exception to this rule.) Watching US troops on the losing side of things hits home for me, though, especially when the movie's director basically confesses that his picture is designed to work as computer-generated sabre-rattling.
The Trump connection is more tenuous, however. Azima claims that he's been working on Battle of Persian Gulf 2 for the past four years, so it's possible that the film depicts a more general contempt for the American military and, I guess, violent American video games. Nevertheless, the director claims that his "animators are not working for money, but for their beliefs and their love of the country". That's how you know they really mean it.