While animation is an art form primarily associated with children's entertainment, there are more than a few animated films which deal with more mature themes and are geared towards an older audience. PERSEPOLIS is one such film. Co-directed by Marjane Satrapi, who based this on her experiences as a young girl growing up in Iran, it tells a story about the struggle to find one's identity in a rapidly changing world. In Marjane's case, her formative years took place amid the chaotic years of the Islamic Revolution when the US-backed Shah was overthrown by populist revolt and an Islamic Republic established in its place. Even though communist revolutionaries, such as her uncle, were imprisoned under the Shah's rules, the Islamic Republic that replaced it was in some ways even more repressive. As a way of escaping this, Marjane is sent off to a French school in Vienna but she eventually comes back to her family after bad experiences leave her alone and almost destitute. Yet, the Iran she returns to is even more different than the one she grew up in and left before. Ultimately, this is a simultaneously complex and simple look at Iranian life through the eyes of a young woman. It's complex in the sense that Marjane has conflicted feelings about the country of her ancestors, yet simple because it is presented through the eyes of someone who has yet to find themselves. This film is based on a graphic novel, and the mostly black-and-white animation style reproduces this look faithfully while also adding a sense of childlike wonder. It was a simple, yet beautiful, way to tell an important story. I hesitate to say that Marjane's story is representative of all Iranians' experience, yet it is valuable precisely because it is a personal experience. The story of her life growing up is tragic and hopeful, sad and yet still not without humor. This rollercoaster of emotions and unique look at an oft misunderstood culture are the film's strongest selling points, aside from the top-notch animation and score. For viewers looking to expand their horizons a bit, PERSEPOLIS has everything you could possibly want from a great film: action, romance, tragedy, humor, etc. It has it all, and most importantly it provides unique cultural insight. Highly recommended.