Persepolis - 2007
Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Taken from the pages of the graphic novels, "Persepolis" centers around Marjane, only a child during the time of the Iranian Revolution, who is sent to Austria by her parents when living in Iran becomes too dangerous due to the Iraqi invasion and the purging of suspected domestic enemies by the country's new rulers. Marjane eventually returns to Iran and finds that her homeland has changed drastically since she last left, having exchanged the oppression of the Shah for the restrictions of the theocratic regime.
Color/B&W, 1 hour 35 minutes, French
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|Catherine Deneuve||Marjane's Mother|
|Danielle Darrieux||Marjane's Grandmother|
|Simon Abkarian||Marjane's Father|
|Gabrielle Lopes||Young Marjane|
|Francois Jerosme||Uncle Anoush|
|Writer||Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud|
|Director||Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud|
|Producer||Marc-Antoine Robert, Xavier Rigault|
|Sound Recordist||Johann Nallet|
|Production Designer||Marisa Musy|
|Sound Mixer||Samy Bardet|
The film opens with a framing story featuring a grown-up Marjane (voiced by Chiara Mastroianni) reflecting on her life at a French Airport.
Young Marjane (Gabrielle Lopes), who aspires to be no less than a prophet, tells her grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) the rules of her new religion, including rule number five, "old women will never suffer again."
The story of the Pahlavi dynasty is fittingly told with "puppet" theatre.
Anti-Shah protests grow, government troops fire on protestors, Anti-Shah protests grow...
Marjane looks up to her uncle Anoush (Francois Jerosme), a communist revolutionary who previously had a role in the declaration of Azerbaijan province as an independent republic. This of course did not last, Anoush fled to the Soviet Union and later spent nine years in the Shah's prison upon returning to Iran.
Anti-American paintings gain little notice from Marjane and her friends who are more interested in boys and western music.
When Marjane is sent to Austria she is greeted by the strict nuns at her French school. The attire of the nuns not being entirely different from the all-encompassing chador now required when outdoors in her homeland.
After living through the rationing in Iran due to the war, Marjane is amazed by the availability of all food stuff, so much so that grocery shopping becomes her new favorite pastime.
Now an adult, Marjane gains the attention of European men. Because of the preconceptions about Iranians, she is ashamed to reveal her true heritage when asked , "Where are you from?"
Back in Iran, Marjane is diagnosed with depression by a callous and uninterested doctor.
With Marjane enrolled at university, the movie demonstrates the ever-increasing restrictions of the Islamic Regime. Girls to one side, boys to the other.
"Where are you coming from?"
By Ari Siletz www.arisiletz.com
A handful of ordinary lives caught in the storms of civilization inspired Charles Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities," and Boris Pasternak's "Dr. Zhivago." Recently Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis" has rendered the Iranian revolution in intimate terms, approaching what Dickens accomplished for the French revolution and Pasternak achieved for the Russian revolution. While History is a satellite photo of a forest, this autobiographical narrative is a single leaf which you can rub between your fingers and bring to your nose. Continued
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