10 April 2012

Persepolis

Persepolis is a movie based on a biographical comic books by Marjane Satrapi. The movie starts out with Marjane sitting in an airport reminiscing on her childhood. We are taken to Iran and introduced to Marjane as a young girl growing up in the middle of the Islamic revolution in Iran during the 1980s. She is a rambunctious kid who's middle class parents participate in rallies fighting for a better society. We meet her Uncle who was imprisoned for trying to re-enter Iran from the Soviet Union. Iranian society only becomes more and more oppressive as the years go by. The war leads to Marjane witnessing terrible atrocities and losing hope in God. She finds every chance to rebel, for example listening to western culture music and wearing westernized clothing. Scared that she will be arrested, her parents send her to Vienna. While in Vienna, Marjane jumps around from house to house until she ends up on the streets and nearly dies from Bronchitis. She ends up in a hospital and contacts her parents and asks to return to Iran. She goes back and falls into a deep depression, but finally snaps out of it and decides to go to college and while getting her degree she sees how hypocritical Iranian rules are, especially concerning the way men could dress compared to all the rules women had to follow with their clothing. Also to avoid being fined for holding her boyfriend, Reza's hand, the young couple marry. Shortly after though, her marriage falls apart and she divorces him. Consequently her family suggests that Marjane leaves Iran for good to avoid arrest. We see Marjane in present day sitting in a cab telling the cabie she is from Iran. Her doing so proves she held fast to what her Uncle and Grandmother told to do, to never forget who she was.

Scott McCloud addresses in his book "Understanding Comics" that comics have the ability to be about anything, anything at all. I would have never guessed that the story of a girl growing up in Iran during the revolution would make a good comic and eventually animated movie, but McCloud and Satrapi again shows their superior intellect by proving that comics are a medium that is only limited by people's own lack of creativity and adventurous nature.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. I appreciated the fact that it had a comic book feel to it with the animation. The plot was a shockingly serious topic, but as discussed in class, the animated characters made it easier to relate to, so the fact that it was an animated film didn't detract from the profound emotions that were portrayed. I think, like Maus, I will have to add Persepolis to my reading list.

1 comment:

  1. "We see Marjane in present day sitting in a cab telling the cabie she is from Iran. Her doing so proves she held fast to what her Uncle and Grandmother told to do, to never forget who she was."

    Excellent observation! And good post!

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