Feb 2008 05

This adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name is an excellent film that infuses history and humor through the eyes of a child to examine the transition of Iran into a totalitarian state.
Written and Directed by Marjane Satrapi, along with Vincent Paronnaud, she adapts her semi-autobiographical novel with great effect allowing us to see the innocence and mind of a child wrapped in revolution through some wonderful hand-drawn animation.
The story follows Marji, an Iranian whose family is not sympathetic to the regime of the Shah in power and we come in on her story just as the revolution begins to make some serious head way in the 70’s. The story serves as a very interesting history lesson of the region and allows for people to see that not all Iranians are evil like our government might lead you to believe today.
Some terrible things happen along the way and a change in regime ended up not being what the people of the country expected. The film successfully coveys the issues and problems with the change of power and rules with the Islamic take over and control of the Iranian government. We see the struggle and unwillingness to adjust while also seeing the hypocrisy of Islamic laws at times. Marji allows us a view that is one sided but I feel is an accurate representation of the feeling of many of the people of Iran during these troubled times.
The film, as I have described it, sounds a bit dark and serious but that is what Marjane Satrapi does so well is to inject humor and lightness into the proceedings. The film is extremely funny at times and Marji as a young girl is a pop culture junky fireball that is just a blast to watch and entertains throughout. As Marji grows with the story and her experience she matures but is still able to see the lighter side of things without losing a proper and serious perspective on things.
Persepolis is a marvel in this way that it is able to wield such an amazing and entertaining story about a course of events that caused a number of pains and atrocities for so many people. For everyone afraid of subtitles, the film is to be released later on this year with an English language track professionally recorded and observed by the directors and I hope more people discover this wonderful little film that deserves its Oscar nomination. This comes with a high recommendation for any fans of history, animation, or anyone looking for a wonderful story of the human spirit and the effect political unrest can have on it and the people around it.


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