300 — Dazzling Storytelling; Blatant Propaganda

Leonidis Bush

“Freedom isn’t free.”

Originally Published March 11, 2007

Thus spake Queen Gorgo to the Spartan Council. “I represent mothers — those without a voice.” And so she stands, embodiment of Liberty — a lone voice crying against the roar of political wolves.

Derek and I rarely see films in their initial theatrical releases, preferring to view them at our leisure at home, where we can rewind and take notes. However, we did venture out to our local 14-Plex, where we swam upstream through college student waves in search of the perfect spot down front. (I like to immerse myself in a film — Derek is very indulgent).

Why would we subject ourselves to sticky floors, stale air, and distasteful previews? I could give you ‘300’ reasons.

For those who managed to remain awake during ancient history class, the Battle of Thermopylae should sound familiar — even resonant. Certainly it resonated with Frank Miller, who penned a graphic novel about this remarkable battle back in 1998. Published by Dark Horse Comics, the telling of ‘300’ stretched over five installments: Honor, Duty, Glory, Combat and Victory.

With the success of Miller’s innovative and stylish Sin City, it isn’t surprising that Hollywood would get behind ‘300’, but a close viewing of this artistly beautiful epic reveals a connection on the east coast rather than the west. While I won’t reveal so much as to spoil the film (history buffs might find the storytelling a tad ’embellished’), I can point out a few parallels to prophecy and politics that should knock you over the head when you see the film.

1. Xerxes represents the typical view of ‘AntiChrist’ — He is clearly a Nephilim — or at least a giant (around ten feet tall, I’d say). He claims to be “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, and he rules the ‘civilized’ world (or so his minions say) with ‘kindness’ (to quote Xerxes). He’s effeminate and arrogant (“He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.” — Daniel 11:37), and he surrounds himself with depravity and hybrid creatures (we saw a particularly odd, goat-headed man in one scene). In other words, this man represents the slavery of religion — in the embodiment of a self-proclaimed ‘god’.

2. King Leonidis (lion-like or ‘son of a lion’) represents the leader of the Free World, who stalwartly faces Evil even though the rest of the western world abandons him. Leonidis is the descendent of Hercules, which also makes him part god, but he uses his powers of ‘reason’ and dauntless bravery for the betterment of men rather than for selfless means. As the warrior/leader of ‘free men’, Leonidis and his ‘300’ select Spartans march into the mouth of a wolf to offer up their blood to keep men free.

3. Queen Gorgo remains behind, keeping the home fires burning. She is seen twice in a field of wheat — staff of life and part and parcel of Virgo (why Gorgo is close to Virgo, isn’t it?), who is pictured in the constellations as bearing a spike of grain in one raised hand. In this respect, Gorgo also stands for Lady Liberty, who must defend the homeland against the politicians who would sell her to the highest bidder (once you see the film, you’ll get my meaning there). She is the Mother of the future, Regina Coeli — she is Isis, wife of the dying god Osiris, mother of Horus.

Have I gotten your attention yet? I could go on, but more might spoil the film for those who haven’t yet ventured out. That said, Miller’s ‘300’ is a genuine feast for the eyes, but its cinematic beauty belies a sinister message: Freedom isn’t free. Need I mention Iraq, Iran, Bush, Neocons, Homeland Security, et al? I thought not.One more thing — pay close attention to the final position of Leonidis. It reveals who he represents — Osiris, Nimrod, Christ.