Persepolis (2007)

Dir. Vincent Paronnaud/Marjane Satrapi
95 minutes

Grace, Penny and I liked the film. Larrilynn really did not like it (2/10; “I wouldn’t watch it again; I didn’t like characters; and I didn’t enjoy the story.”) I would recommend the film to Kevin, Chris. I’m not so sure about Mitchelll and Tony, although I think Mitchell would find interesting things about it. Don might like it a little, but I don’t think I would recommend it this to him. I don’t think Joel or John would care for this. Jill might like this.

The film is about a girl growing up in Iran from the late 70s to the early 90s. It’s animated film based on a graphic novel by Satrapi, which is based on ostensibly the author’s actual experience.s. The animation is in black-and-white and pretty simple. If you’re interested in political and cultural events that occurre in Iran during the 70s-90s, I’d recommend this. One film that I think is similar is Grave of Fireflies. Both effectively tell the story of historic events through the eyes of children.

What I liked about the film was the way we learn about Iranian politics and history from the 70s to the 90s through the experiences of a girl and her family. What I hear about the Middle-East mostly comes through journalists, politicians or experts, but this film allows you to see the politics through normal people “on the ground.” Iranians are humanized and the film brings out the universal qualities (teenagers wanting to rebel). I thought the film also avoided preaching any ideology. Sure the film is critical of certain policies, but they seem to arise from real life situations that most people would find annoying and tiresome (e.g. not being able to hold hands with a lover in public).

The cartoon and the child’s vantage point also makes the emotional scenes even that much more powerful.

Persepolis: I think I have a special affinity for this movie because the main character and I are the same age. We grew up in the same time and yet our experiences were so different. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to live in a country at war for most of my life. To have my neighborhood bombed, my relatives in prison because of their beliefs and yet some things were so similar…teenage rebellion, how parents cannot understand us, how we are embarassed of who we are, etc. One part I wish the movie delved into more was her relationship with God. In the book, that relationship plays an important part.

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