Critics Consensus

Persepolis is an emotionally powerful, dramatically enthralling autobiographical gem, and the film's simple black-and-white images are effective and bold.



Total Count: 161


Audience Score

User Ratings: 50,387
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Movie Info

Marjane is precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl who was nine years old during the Islamic Revolution when the fundamentalists first take power--forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. She cleverly outsmarts the "social guardians" and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden, while living with the terror of government persecution and the Iran/Iraq war. Then Marjane's journey moves on to Austria where, as a teenager, her parents send her to school in fear for her safety and, she has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape. Marjane eventually gains acceptance in Europe, but finds herself alone and horribly homesick, and returns to Iran to be with her family, although it means putting on the veil and living in a tyrannical society. After a difficult period of adjustment, she enters art school and marries, continuing to speak out against the hypocrisy she witnesses. At age 24, she realizes that while she is deeply Iranian, she cannot live in Iran. She then makes the heartbreaking decision to leave her homeland for France, optimistic about her future, shaped indelibly by her past.


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Critic Reviews for Persepolis

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (154) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Persepolis

  • Jul 03, 2013
    This French animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Satrapi with Vincent Paronnaud. I understand how popular was the book in France, following the story a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. France had its share of involvement during the Iranian revolutionary times, and somehow the audience was very sympathetic to the film which ends with Marjane as a 24-year-old expatriate in Paris. The film was co-winner of the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In her acceptance speech, Satrapi said "Although this film is universal, I wish to dedicate the prize to all Iranians." The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Ratatouille. Cinematography presented in the black-and-white style of the original graphic novels was explained by Marjane so the place and the characters wouldn't look like foreigners in a foreign country but simply people in a country to show how easily a country can become like Iran. The present-day scenes are shown in colour, while sections of the historic narrative resemble a shadow theatre show. The Iranian government-connected organisation Iran Farabi Foundation sent a letter to the French embassy in Tehran stating, "This year the Cannes Film Festival, in an unconventional and unsuitable act, has chosen a movie about Iran that has presented an unrealistic face of the achievements and results of the glorious Islamic Revolution in some of its parts" but despite all of the objections, the Iranian cultural authorities allowed limited screenings of the film in Tehran, albeit with six scenes censored due to sexual content. I am sorry to say that this critically acclaimed animated autobiography missed to involve me into the events which were told in a storytelling style which was nothing out of average. I will still give it a positive score... for the effort!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 01, 2013
    It slows down and becomes a little less engaging in certain parts near the middle, but Persepolis is an imaginative, funny, and visually interesting depiction of a woman's turbulent childhood in Iran.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2012
    I finished reading the graphic novel last week and I did enjoy it. I thought the second part of her story after leaving Iran and trying to assimilate was magnificent. However I thought the first part of her childhood amongst the unstable political and social climate of Iran although interesting, innocent and tragic, I felt the balance between childlike naivety and political criticism was a bit wayward. The film fixes this and it is 95 minutes of magical realism and the subjective charm of Satrapi
    Hassan V Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2012
    Great and smart use of the cartoon to tell a serious tale. Give it a comparison view with Waltz With Bashir. Both genuinely push the genre to a new length.
    John B Super Reviewer

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