17 January 2013 4:07 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Inaccuracy in journalism is taken seriously, but film-makers happily play fast and loose with the facts

Should films that lay claim to truth be free to lie? The old question is raised again by two now on general release. Argo tells the story of the escape of American diplomats from Iran in 1979. Zero Dark Thirty tells of the more recent killing of Osama bin Laden. Both are already controversial.

The first, Argo, has understandably enraged the British ambassador in Tehran at the time, Sir John Graham, by stating that the Brits "turned away" the fugitive American diplomats. It left him "very distressed that the film-makers got it so wrong". He says the British embassy took in the fugitives and they moved to the Canadian embassy only when the British one became exposed to attack. One of the Americans, Robert Anders, has fully corroborated Graham's comments, saying the film "is absolutely untrue. »

- Simon Jenkins

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