Saturday, July 5, 2008

PERSEPOLIS (Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi, 2007, France) A heartfelt coming of age biopic about a young girl growing up in Iran, a country dominated by a repressive theocratic regime (I suppose that’s redundant), and her escape into the 21st century. The metaphor of the ancient city and its deep hereditary roots is quite strong because we all wax nostalgic about our origins and must refuse to let the past decide our future. This film is very entertaining but it’s also very important: it gave me an honest insight into a culture that I know little about. The film is like a friend who tells you this harrowing tale, gently takes your hand, and guides you through their life story…both the ups and downs. It just happens that Marji’s Iranian but more importantly a human being. We’re all the same underneath; the same wants and desires, the same feelings of repression and angst. Marji’s self-deprecating humor is reflected in teenagers around the world who feel the same way: awkward, alone, and depressed. She shows great strength and courage to shed the baggage of her past and make the choice towards her future. I’m sure she carries guilt about the loving family she left behind…but it makes their sacrifice so much more profound. The animation is beautiful and stark, like the sculptures that adorn the ancient city of Persepolis. (A)

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