Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015

Affleck says continued Iran tensions make "Argo" topical

Published on Sep 9, 2012 4:13 PM
Actor and director Ben Affleck attends a news conference to promote the film 'Argo' during the 37th Toronto International Film Festival on Sept 8, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO (REUTERS) - Given current diplomatic tensions over Iran, Ben Affleck says his new spy thriller Argo couldn't be more topical, even though it is set more than 30 years ago.

The film, which Affleck both directs and stars in, is based on the CIA's role in smuggling six American diplomats out of Iran in 1979 under the unlikely guise of a fake movie production. It premiered on Friday at the Toronto film festival to thunderous applause and standing ovations and is already being hailed as a major Oscar contender.

Filmed in the grainy style of the 1970s, the movie depicts how the diplomats escaped the storming of the US Embassy in Teheran at the height of Iran's Islamic revolution by taking refuge at the home of the Canadian ambassador.

Traversing back and forth between Tehran and Washington, it borrows from the memoir of a former CIA specialist Tony Mendez, The Master of Disguise, which details how he devised an incredible escape plan to pose as a Canadian film crew.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!