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Movie Review Persepolis

Persepolis is based on the graphic novel Marjane Satrapi about her own extraordinary life through revolution and war in her youth, to her eventual escape to Paris. This is a delightful, curious film that indulges in both the personal and the political and provides a potted history of modern Iran through one womans experience. (Calhoun, 2008) Through following the animation of Marjanes younger self, the audience gets a taster to how the country was divided up as the Iranian police search for alcohol that is illegally stored or men and women that come into contact in public unmarried. As a young child Marjane becomes enthralled by the excitement of political communism but doesnt understand the revolution even though she enjoys chanting anti-Shah slogans. However, her family eventually suffers as her Uncle is arrested and killed and the Iranian war leaves her

neighborhood demolished by a bomb hit. This leaves Marjane to lose her faith and through an emotional journey to discover herself.

Figure 1, (2010), Marjane and her condemned uncle

The animation is shot in simplistic line and black and white, except for Marjanes travels to the west where the characters become color. ...the movie has a signature look. Except for a framing story in color, all the images are in black, white, and countless shades of gray. The pleasingly simple, hand-drawn characters, and flat, often abstractly patterned backgrounds show the influence of everything from Charles Schulz to German Expressionism to Persian miniature painting to shadow puppetry. (Stevens, 2008) The use of dark shadows and keeping everything as black and white strengthens the theme of depression as Marjanes life becomes increasingly worse to the point where she becomes homeless in Vienna and has almost given up on her life. It could also be seen as symbolic that her life in Persepolis is uniform as they are all made to wear the same and behave in a certain way, reminding the viewer that she has no free will, whereas the color version in the west says that she be free to be her own person.

Figure 2, (2008), Mariane trying to escape to France but her life gets worse

While Marjane lives in France, she becomes possessed by its culture and the freedom makes her forget who she was in terms of her beliefs and as a person. And her story is a familiar one: a young girl seduced by another culture, the West, who loses touch with her true identity here embodied by her irrepressible grandmother (Danielle Darrieux). Eventually, disillusioned with the superficial paradise she was drawn toward, she returns to her roots and becomes a wiser and more complete person. (Keough, 2008) As the film progresses, Marjane decides to return home and to the people who accept her and confronted by her Grandmother for her wildness helps Marjane to realise that she has to fight for her individuality. This empowers her to speak out about the attack of how women in Iran has to be covered up in public while the men are allowed to wear what they please. This captures the racial difference at this point in history and speaks out at the state of the communism in Iran. Marjane eventually leaves Iran to return to France because it is only away from her home that she could have her freedom and identity.

Figure 3, (2011), Marjane fighting back for Iranian Womens rights

Illustration List Figure 1, (2010), Marjane and her condemned uncle, @ http://buddypuddle.blogspot.com/2010/05/persepolis-2007.html, Accessed on: 4th May 2010 Figure 2, (2008), Mariane trying to escape to France but her life gets worse, @ http://thecia.com.au/reviews/p/persepolis/, Accessed on: 21st August 2008 Figure 3, (2011), Marjane fighting back for Iranian Womens rights, @ http://bokunosekai.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/persepolis-a-controversial-animation/, Accessed on: 5th September 2011

Bibliography Calhoun David, (2008), Time Out London Persepolis Review, @ http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/84217/persepolis.html, Accessed 25th August 2008 Stevens Diana, (2008), My so-called Iranian Life Persepolis Review, @ http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2007/12/my_socalled_iranian_life.html, Accessed on: 18th October 2008

Keough Peter, (2008), The Boston Phoenix Persepolis Review, @ http://thephoenix.com/boston/Movies/54160-PERSEPOLIS/, Accessed on: 16th December 2008

3/5