I finally watched "300" last week. I absolutely love the story of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans who resist the Persians under Xerxes, and have used that story a bunch of times in teaching. So, I intially hated the previews I saw about "300". I mean, who really believes that Spartan soldiers wore only loin cloths, and all had 6-pack abs and Fabio hair?
But then a few months ago I heard on NPR an interview with the director talking about how his goal was to have a movie that visually showed the legendary telling of tales found in an oral society. Now I get it. It's like a campfire story. So Xerxes is 9 feet tall, the Persian army has Orcs from Lord of the Rings, and Leonidas wears only a leather jock strap.
But in a sense I respect it more now. We've lost the art of telling good stories in our culture because of the impact of television and movies. Our love affair with modernity has left us slightly (or sometimes not so slightly) jaded, and very few things take our breath away anymore. We've seen too much, experienced too much, for our souls to still be amazed. And while not necessarily historically accurate, "300" is definitely amazing.