Sunday, March 02, 2008

Persepolis

Movie coupon # 1.
db's valentine gift: a set of handmade movie coupons. "Redeemable any time!"
Persepolis was on my list of must see movies for some time now.

Based on the graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis is a story of Marjane, a young Iranian girl growing up during the Islamic Revolution. Her parents fear that her outspoken nature and bold behaviour will lead her to greater trouble than she may be aware of. They send her to Vienna to continue her eduction, but her coming of age years are difficult for an Iranian girl living alone and away from home. Just when she thinks she may have finally found happiness, it is pulled out from under her and Marjane eventually returns home. The story does not end here, but suggests a continuing journey for a young woman who is trying to find her place in the world after having lived through revolution and war.

This is a powerful narrative. Intrigued by the concept and was drawn in by the black and white visual style that uses the dark and light to effectively enhance the strong narrative. Persepolis takes a very complex political history of a country and is able simplify it without hiding the truth so that the little girl Marjane can understand. Her family is aware that they must explain to the precocious young girl what is going on around her while she also learns about her familial history, the grandfather that was imprisoned and her uncle that lived in exile who was arrested upon his return. This is Marjane's story and she carries the narrative with her dominating personality suggesting leadership, a "prophet" as she refers to herself in the film when she's a little girl, that draws us closer to her. We can't help but feel attached to this character as she struggles with her independence and identity.

I don't know if I can describe the visual style. It is probably best if you watch the trailers or click on the link above to get an idea of how the film looks. Can you guess that I thought the film was fantastic?


3 comments:

Vegan Run Amok said...

Oooo, another film we need to see. We watched Tsotsi on your recommendation and were so glad we did - thanks again for that!

Red said...

This looks fantastic. I love the balls of the French, making a cartoon out of a subject that is not a cute, fluffy animal or some fairy-tale character. That bit when she drives and removes her veil (which "stands for freedom"... hahah!), laughing, moved me as much as if it had been flesh-and-blood actors playing it. Wonderful. I can't wait to see it!

Thanks for sharing.

sp said...

Oh I'm glad you saw Tsotsi. It really is a powerful film.

I think you'll both enjoy Persepolis.