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"Persepolis" is like a universal expression as an expression by the filmmaker and an artistic narrative. This animated film is a unique and special achievement. It tells you how many great yet unique style. It's more interesting than any modern coming-of-age movie in general. This film shouts something where we are always wrong in looking at it; regardless it depends on the perceptions of each person. This film chants about women who've grown up in opposing pressure.
Just one word: masterpiece.
It follows the book a little too closely so it seems more like a animated picture book as opposed to an adaptation.
Persepolis has a strange stylized look. It is somewhat simplistic, and looks like a comic strip. I can’t say I like the look of it that much, and the choice to do most of it in black-and-white didn’t help because in the few scenes where they show color it looks so vibrant and beautiful. I’m sure it was a stylistic and thematic choice to limit color, but I don’t think the overall product benefited from that choice. In fact I’m not even sure why they chose to make this movie animated since it is such a gritty adult story, and there wasn’t anything that would have been difficult to capture in live action. That being said, the look of the film didn’t hinder the story-telling in any significant way, I just question why they made these visual choices. The plot of Persepolis is one that centers on the life of a young Iranian girl who is struggling to find her identity and place in the world. This struggle appears significantly harder because she lived in such tumultuous times for her nation. It feels a lot like a history lesson of events that took place in Iran, as well as a cultural guide to living in that region, but all told through the life experiences of one woman. I did find it educational, and I liked seeing how their lives were both similar and entirely different from life in America. You could tell this must be grounded in a true story because it showed so much detail, and they fleshed out the family well without having to lay out a lot of exposition for world-building. I sympathized with Marjane as she struggled through life, and I wanted to see her succeed, but somehow I never got fully engrossed by this film. Perhaps I was having trouble drawing parallels in my own experience, perhaps it was just the artistic style that I wasn’t connecting with, or perhaps I’m just a cold-hearted jerk. It’s not that the story in Persepolis was bad, or that I didn’t care, I just lacked the proper emotional investment. That being said, it was still a solid film, and I could see where it would be a powerful experience for some viewers. At the very least, I was never bored by Persepolis, and I felt like I learned something new from people who lived through events I only saw on news reports in the past.
Really good sad animated French movie. I really liked the book and I love the movie.
Flashbacks of a childhood in a country on the brink of a harsh change.
- Home, war and the Eye of the Tiger: Persepolis -
Persepolis is the story of Marjane "Marji" Satrapi and her younger years during the Iranian revolution and some of the Iraq-Iran war. Nurtured by her modern, liberal family, feisty and idealistic Marji adores Bruce Lee and aspires to be a prophet. She witnesses the fall of the Shah and sees even more conservative Islamic fundamentalists fill the vacuum. Persepolis is a coming-of-age epic, and as a captivatingly animated story of an adventurous young woman, it could easily be the lovechild of Spirited away (Hayao Miyazaki) and the 90s cartoon version of Madeline.
I love how Satrapi is represented as a young girl. She is passionate, outspoken, a bit goofy, and naive. It shouldn't feel "fresh" to see a dynamic woman main character in 2018, but it is. I enjoyed seeing a movie from a female gaze that's directed by a woman.
Rebellious teenage Marji - who wears forbidden Michael Jackson badges and barters for illicit heavy metal tapes - is sent to Vienna where she can be herself in safety. She lasts a few years, trying on ill-fitting identities (hardcore punk, nihilist hippy). But after suffering hapless romances, racist incidents, and cultural impasses, Satrapi returns back to Iran to be with her family - despite the oppression that she will endure.
Satrapi has a fantastic grandmother, and their relationship is magic. I have never seen this often-special relationship represented so perfectly. Satrapi's grandmother has amazing life advice, such as "The first marriage is a rehearsal for the second," and that to keep firm breasts, one must dunk them in iced water each morning. She guides Satrapi by encouraging her to stay true to herself and isn't afraid to give her a reality check when she needs it.
The animation is borderline-psychedelic. Persepolis is a rich world of patterns, textures and amazing noses of every vector. The weight of snow on tree branches, steam rising off food, curling iron banisters, bomb blasts, birds twisting around in the air, and single tears running down cheeks are all poetic, and they convey normally indescribable parts of memories, places and time periods.
To watch Persepolis is to step inside of Satrapi's mind's eye. The story is told as a flashback from her perspective. Spaces meld into one another, time blurs, scenes fade in and out. The movie ends with the audio of a memory in the past. The overall effect is so lush and sensory, and I thought the representation of mental space was a feat. The scenes that explain some of Iran's history look like shadow theatre, with shuffling waves and bouncing 2D planes. It made it easy to digest the historical information.
The movie is almost entirely black and white and is full of silhouettes and literal darkness. The outlines of the casualties of war and figures fleeing in the night - nuances of what it must be like to live through a war and then to live with the memories of it - are expressed with elegance.
Persepolis has so much to give: visual delight, eye-opening history lessons, warm fuzzies about matriarchy, and a potent dose of girl power. I came away from this film with a new understanding of Iran's history and political situation. Persepolis humanizes what is to most of us a complicated, far away thing. Making a film that allows different people to empathize with each other is a wonderful gift for humanity. It's a film that left me feeling nourished, visually, but also personally; to me, Persepolis captures the life of a young woman in a way that rarely happens in film. I found Marjane's relationships with her mother and grandmother and her struggles with fitting in with groups (and the wider universe) relatable and validating.
For the love of brilliant, beautiful, autobiographical coming-of-age tales about war, devotion, and Iron Maiden, watch this movie!
This review was first published on Narrative Muse, http://www.narrativemuse.co/movies/persepolis, and was written by Madison Plummer. Narrative Muse curates the best books and movies by and about women and non-binary folk on our website http://narrativemuse.co and our social media channels.
Persepolis is a superb film about a young girl's coming of age amidst war, fascism and family tragedy.
This smart animated film tells the story of the Islamic revolution in Iran from the eyes of a open minded young girl, growing up to be a woman both inside and abroad of the country.
Its interesting but also can feel slow at times. The animation is great and tells the story very well.
A very good animation movie. Educational and entertaining. A moving tale of a young girl, and her troubles with tyranny.