Persepolis

Persepolis

From A.O. Scott’s review:

Perse­po­lis” is a sim­ple sto­ry told by sim­ple means. Like Mar­jane Satrapi’s book, on which it is based, the film, direct­ed by Ms. Satrapi and Vin­cent Paron­naud, con­sists essen­tial­ly of a series of mono­chrome draw­ings, their bold black lines washed with nuances of gray. The pic­tures are arranged into the chron­i­cle of a young girl’s com­ing of age in dif­fi­cult times, a tale that unfolds with such grace, intel­li­gence and charm that you almost take the won­drous aspects of its exe­cu­tion for grant­ed.

I loved Perse­po­lis… the Iran­ian Rev­o­lu­tion was a curi­ous thing to study, in col­lege. Through­out the mid­dle part of the last cen­tu­ry, with the Cold War rag­ing, the expec­ta­tion for “Rev­o­lu­tion” was near­ly always a marx­ist con­cern. Even lit­tle Marjane’s rel­a­tives in Perse­po­lis expect­ed the Pro­le­tari­at to pre­vail. What was new and unique in Iran was the rise of a reac­tionary, reli­gious author­i­ty – that no one in the West, (and also the lib­er­al elite in Iran), saw com­ing…

But as inter­est­ing as the pol­i­tics in the film are, this is still pri­mar­i­ly the sto­ry of a young girl, and her per­son­al jour­ney. I loved Ms. Satrapi’s depic­tion of her anar­chist friends in Vien­na, (where she attend­ed French board­ing school). These Euro­peans embraced her in part because of her expe­ri­ence with rev­o­lu­tion and war, but they had no clue about the per­son­al cost of this expe­ri­ence. Teenaged Mar­jane strug­gles with her iden­ti­ty, while they laugh behind her back. And in the end, we’re not quite sure that she comes out on top.

Perse­po­lis is a jour­ney worth tak­ing, and the ani­ma­tion real­ly is won­der­ful.

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