Professor Elena Andreva has provided a precise definition of Nordicism or Eurocentricism and how this applies to the Iranians. Her definition is as thus:
“Eurocentricism…everything is seen and judged from the European point of view, because that is perceived as the only correct way of doing things and the sole criterion by which everyhting has to be judged. The implication behind the comparison of everything Iranian with everything European…is Europe in its oppostion to Iran” (Elena Andreva, Russia and Iran in the Great Game, Routledge, pp.78)
It is in this Eurocentrist (or Nordicist) context where distorted “historical” movies such as “Alexander” and “300” have been produced. The 300 movie set new heights of Eurocentrist dehumanization by reinterpreting ancient Iranians as ugly, grotesque and demonic creatures. Last July 2008, witnessed prestigious Western media outlets such as Spiegel Magazine and the Daily Telegraph launching distorted attacks against Cyrus the Great and his legacy in world civilization by labelling him as a “violent bloodthirsty tyrant.
Professor James Bill has provided a rare and balanced view of the present state of affairs:
“…the masses of Iranian people…hold warm feelings toward…American citizens…the American public has not been so forgiving…public opinion surveys consistently reveal that Americans consider Iran to be the least popular country in the world…distorted and simplistic mass media representations, such as the widely distributed Hollywood film “Not Without My Daughter!” question the very civility and humanity of Iranians…some officials such as former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, have had a personal, visceral dislike of Iran…“(James A. Bill, Iran and the United States: A Clash of Hegemonies, Middle East Report, 212, p.45, 1999).
Iranians as a whole have become propaganda targets. Their identity, culture, history, and legacy are being seriously questioned (if not attacked) and as Professor Bill has noted: the very humanity and civility of the Iranians are now under siege.
It would seem that these attacks against the history, identity and civility of the Iranians hav eonly just begun. According to recent reports in Iran Mania news outlets on February 25, 2009, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hassan Qashqavi, has told reporters at a weekly news conference in Tehran that:
“Hollywood has thirty anti-Iranian movies in the offing with the subject of hostility towards Iran’s historical and Islamic identity…The subject of making various movies has directly targeted not only Iran’s religious and historical identity but also the country’s social values including hospitality in an attempt to show hostility towards the Islamic Republic…There are certain political objectives behind a number of movies under the pretext of creating art…The controversial anti-Iranian Hollywood film ‘300’, made by Zack Snyder, is an example of such films.”
Modern Eurocentricism against Iran goes back to the early 1800s and has as much to do with Nordicist thinking as it does with economics and politics. This may partly explain why so many prestigious media and entertainment outlets, once the guardians of truth, objective reporting and wholesome entertainment, seem to be steering towards distorted productions whenever Iranians are involved.