300 Cinematography and Philosophy

Epic cinematography from the movie 300, and some philosophical musings:


If you’ve never watched the movie “300” — please watch it. It is one of my favorite movies of all time– part for the epic stylized look, the courage and bravery of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan men, and of the good virtues shared in the movie.

Also on a side-note, the sequel is also quite good — I recommend watching it as well.

Anyways, the funny thing about the movie 300 — it actually was based on history, and is a lot more historically accurate than you think it “should” be!

The movie 300 is based on the Spartan Battle of Thermopylae, with the Greek state of Sparta (led by King Leonidas) defending her soil against the incoming Persian army (led by king Xerxes).

Essentially King Leonidas led 300 of his own Spartan soldiers and 700 other Thespian soldiers to defend a narrow coastal corridor path named Thermopylae (also known as ‘The Hot Gates’). Leonidas and his men fought to the death.

What is the moral of the story?

The moral of the film, the story, and the real account is this:

It is virtuous to die for the sake of upholding freedom against tyrants.

The movie “300” does a great job of showing great heroism against all odds; against grim hope.


In terms of the cinematography of the film, these are things I liked:

  1. The minimalist red-bronze-black tones in the film; which reflect the original ‘Frank Miller’ comics.
  2. Strategic use of slow-mo during epic battle scenes (which makes me, the viewer, feel like I’m really there!)
  3. How all the 300 spartan men (and King Leonidas) are ripped beyond belief. I conjure their muscles when I’m working out, to inspire me.
  4. The combination of ‘real’ men and mythological creatures — giving the film a mood hearkening to Ancient Greek mythology.
  5. Simple and effective use of low-angle photos to heighten drama, or to make certain subjects look “larger than life”
  6. Epic prop design– I especially like the fictionalized ‘look’ of Xerxes in his “all gold everything”
  7. Ultimately, after watching the film, you feel like an absolute badass, you feel empowered– and you have more confidence in yourself to attempt epic things in life!!!

Learn more about Sparta

To learn more about Spartan philosophy, read Plutarch’s account of the Spartans:

300 film Cinematography

Some of my favorite shots from the film: