Persepolis is a brilliant adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film is made by the director duo of Iranian Marjane Satrapi and Frenchman Vincent Paronnaud. Of course, Persepolis is an enjoyable addition to the World cinema watchers and what’s more amusing about Satrapi is not only how well she managed to interpret her original work through a completely distinct and separate medium into film with such ease, besides not pampering them either.
Also like to share about how simple and elegant this movie been depicted based on the comic book series of coming of an age story, against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The title is a reference to the historic city of Persepolis. It’s a treat captured in conviction, so humorously and touching with fittingly authentic, reproducing the graphic work with far-reaching and unflinching strokes in the two dimensional note, and couple of them need a real mention like the ocean waves at the back of a panto set, the extracts of colour tones in those present scenes and arraying the cartoonist’s classic skill and so on. Satrapi produces entertaining and concerned facial expressions by that hairsbreadth is truly a rare effects in today’s cinema. Undisputable a new story and the new way of its interpretation
Thou, Persepolis being universal, Satrapi dedicated the prize to all Iranians in her acceptance speech when the film was adjourned the co-winner of the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It was released in France and Belgium the same year. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Ratatouille.
The story grooves at Orly airport of Paris, we see a modern young women garbs a veil in the restroom, and joins a queue for flights to Tehran. On her ticket purchase, she retreats and drops dejected into a bench and smokes. Looking back in flashes of her childhood, recalls her memories of the times with her family in the backdrop of political turmoil in Iran and the life lived under the Shah and the Iranian revolution happen to escalate large tension. Its 1978, the last days of Shah’s- The nine years kid Marjane dreaming of Bruce lee’s disciple and becoming a prophet. Her middle class family participates in all the rallies in protest to oust the Shahs. Marjane wants to take pride in the future of her country.
Marjane’s inherited outspoken and cheeky behaviour causes her parents’ endless worries. Similarly infers about her grandfather being executed and her uncle imprisoned for years. One day, Marjane’s uncle Anoush visits to have dinner with the family, newly being released from his nine-year sentence in prison. Uncle Anoush inspires Marjane with his stories of his life on the run from the Shah’s, a result of rebelling and political fights cease for a new power in the midst of revolution lead by Khomeini.
The initial sanguinity that convoys the Islamic revolution soon turns to fear. The leftist intellectuals who were once deemed enemies of the Shah now become the targets of Khomeini’s forces and with the Iran-Iraq war in full swing and internal repression on the increase. Fearing her arrest for her outspokenness, Marjane’s parents send her to a French Lycee in Vienna, Austria. She spends her teens in the unfamiliar European environment living with catholic nuns and is upset with their discriminatory and judgmental behaviour. Marjane gradually absorbs to embrace her Iranian identity without any friends and feeling isolated. As the years go by, Marjane is thrown out of her temporary shelter for insulting a nun and is driven out into the streets, thus drive her to go from house to house, until ending up in the house of Frau Dr. Schloss, a retired philosophy teacher.
She falls in and out of relationship starting with the Frenchmen and ends up knowing him being a homosexual. She engages in a passionate love affair with Markus, a debonair native, which ends when she discovers him cheating on her. Marjane is accused of stealing Frau Dr. Schloss’s brooch, she becomes angered and leaves. She spends the day on a park bench, reflecting upon how cruel Markus was to her. She discovers that she has nowhere to go. She lives on the street for a few months. Eventually, she becomes ill and contracts bronchitis, and almost dies, thou her personal crisis brings her back to post-war Iran. She undergoes severe depressions over several years, attends art school, finds her true voice, marries and divorces, before leaving Iran and her beloved grandmother forever, without ever quite letting go of either.
The pictures inspiringly had drawn from its comic book source, in black and white, with squint of colour in the present situations at the Orly airport, Persepolis stimulate traditional animation techniques to their absolute limits. You also get to see illustrations combined with incipient brand of punkish realism with the raw-boned representations of expressionism in a very fluid and trembled fashion, despite the fact the sporadic representation of Marx and fraternizing Gods is more prodigal in socio-linguistic boundaries, that’s seen purely in non-conformist rhetoric and giving the characters a surprising depth and empathy.
Interestingly, the film is modest from the start. The vivacious altercation is very well depicted in the animation that symbolise Iran. Also takes a perceptive stance into the coming of age story, with some unambiguous political and religious interpretation that is never short of opinions on the matter. Certain enough the film’s tittle the ruined city of Persepolis, though very real, are also buried in the distant past and some places in one’s life being rooted cannot easily returned and the truth lies in the liberation and the idea of freedom is always far-fetched than we realise. Rightly, Persepolis is exceptionally charming, at times touching and revealing to those of us who know little about Iran. Besides, I’m sure viewers would like to catch up in reading her original graphic novel as much as they love the piece of history
- Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
- Produced by Xavier Rigault; Marc-Antoine Robert & Kathleen Kennedy
- Screenplay: Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud
- Based on Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- Music by Olivier Bernet
- Edited by Stéphane Roche
- Production company: The Kennedy/Marshall Company
- Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
- Release dates: 23 May 2007 (Cannes)
- Run time of 95 minutes
- Country: France, United States and Iran
- Language: French; English; Persian & German