Friday, January 14, 2011

Two View Movie Review: Persepolis

Persepolis tells the story of Marjane "Marji" Satrapi's life in Iran during the war between Iran & Iraq. Through her young eyes, she witnesses the Islamic Revolution & the defeat of the Shah's rule. While the revolution was suppose to bring a new freedom to Iran, the new ruling Islamic fundamentalists become a repressive tyranny. Young Marji refuses to be silent & rebels against her teachers & authority figures, which prompts her parents to send her to Vienna to study & create a better life. However, as a young girl in a new environment with different cultures, the change is trialing & troubling. 

The film is based on Satrapi's graphic memoir & Bildungsroman & she was also the co-director. With the original creator being behind the scenes, Persepolis is not only one of the most faithful graphic novel to film adaptations, but in all adaptation history. What the graphic novel did for the medium, Persepolis does the same for animated films. Both medium are thought of as child's play, but both works prove that they can be thoughtful, humorous & enthralling. Satrapi kept the flat black & white style to emphasize that what has happened to Iran could happen anywhere. The people in Persepolis don't look foreigners but like people from some random country. 

This review is not without any self-promotion, I must confess. The JCBA is screening the film Tuesday, February 2nd & Wednesday the 3rd, both days at 3pm & 7pm. Admission works on donations only; they are self-determined ticket prices, so offer what you can, in good spirits. However, whether we were screening the film or not, I would still recommend it. Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post writes of the film, "Marjane Satrapi, with co-director Vincent Paronnaud, has taken her work & turned it into a vigorous, revealing & tragic film."


  1. Absolutely thrilled to know you're screening this film. I saw it a couple of years ago in the theater, and will inform my film section about this opportunity to see it in a group setting.

  2. Yes, please invite as many people as possible. The more the merrier!