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President Kong
King Kong focuses on the mind of one man and his fraught relations with the West: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


Decembe 17, 2005

While Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park glossed over the atrocities committed by Iran’s rulers, eventually turning them into marketable cuddly toys, Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong focuses on the mind of one man and his fraught relations with the West: the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known to his followers as Kong.

Unlike the 1933 original, this Kong is a rabid anti-semite kidnapped by Mossad and transported to New York to thrill Broadway audiences. In one of the script’s finer moments, Kong, exhorts:


Onlookers are shocked as he tops that masterclass in political oratory with the punchline:


In no time, however, Kong finds himself isolated from the world stage, on top of the Empire State building, incurring the wrath of the US airforce.

It is a credit to Jackson that he chose Iran as the location for Skull Island, Kong’s domain: a land inhabited by predatorial dinosaurs. There the ape heads a group of frenzied religious zombies bent on the subjugation of women. This, however, is marred by a representation of the non-white Other worthy of DW Griffiths and Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Coons.

Indeed, it is notable that while Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy featured numerous strange creeds, there were no human ethnic minorities: Orcs and Elves but no Patels. Jackson may not be the most cosmpolitain of directors, but King Kong offers insight into the workings of a political mind that students of Ahmadinejad, and indeed George Bush, cannot afford to ignore.

For letters section
To Peyvand Khorsandi

Peyvand Khorsandi



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