The only thing that would have made the move better is if Ben Affleck had taken on a different role and allowed an actor of Latino descent to play Tony Mendez, who is in fact Latino. I don’t blame Ben for wanting to play the role himself, and he did so quite well. But I believe that by making that personal choice he robbed his audience of the true depth of the story. It matters that one of the 50 most influential CIA agents in the last fifty years was a man of color. It is a critical piece of our Nations’ history. Not showcasing that in the movie that tells his story is a disservice to Tony Mendez and to us, the American society. But there is something to be said that Tony Mendez himself was very involved as a consultant during the making of this film. If he is okay with the casting then who am I to contradict him. But as a woman of color, an actor of color, I can mourn the loss of an opportunity to give work to an artist of color and to tell the story of an achievement by an individual of color that had incredible historical significance.
I still recommend the movie. I still think it is masterful. But I also recommend that you take the time to learn more about the man behind the mission, Antonio Mendez. He and his wife have written a couple of books about the World of espionage. They are also two of the founding members of the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. I actually visited the museum almost a year ago exactly when my kids and I took a trip to our Nations’ Capital to honor another man of color, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Now knowing Tony Mendez’s story in more depth, thanks to Argo, I am dying to return to the Spy Museum and see it through a more informed set of eyes. (I bet I would do even better on the spy test they offer during the tour thanks to the lessons I learned from Master Spy Tony Mendez’s journey chronicled in Argo.)
The story behind Argo has been declassified and Tony Mendez no longer lives and works in the shadows. I am glad that his story is being told. I hope it paves the way for more stories of accomplishments by individuals of colors who have done masterful things to keep us safe and allow movie making, and just plain old living, to be possible.
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Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV, Wearetherealdeal.com, YoungChicagonista, and TheChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, TOUT and LinkedIn.