09 April 2012

Use the Enemy. Use Anarchy.

Persopolis is based on the autobiographical comic of the same name by Marjane Satrapi. It tells the story of the author’s coming of age in Iran during the war with Iraq, her move to Vienna to attend high school away from the war, her return to Iraq and her final move to Paris. The animation in the movie was also done by Satrapi and is incredibly accurate to the illustrations in the comic. Along with being accurate to the comic, they are extremely creative in the use of only black and white with the exception of a few scenes in the present day that are depicted in color. Weaving in and out of dreams and thoughts and swirling back into the story seamlessly. Marjane makes for an interesting character in the comic with her head banging to 80’s metal, wearing patch-covered leather jackets and supporting anarchism in a very calm and experienced manner. When her peers seem to be spoiled kids from rich families that were sent away to boarding school because their constant whining about the system was getting very annoying to their busy parents, but Marjane has witnessed political turmoil and bloodshed. The fact that she got to leave and grow up in a safe environment fills her with guilt for her countrymen and people her age that weren’t so lucky or weren’t even alive. Her personality is brooding and troubled but the story doesn’t get drudged down, it manages to keep it’s pace and liveliness in the movie.

I don't really understand why autobiographical authors use their own names in their books and comics, personally, I would give myself a very creative name. Marjane uses her own name in Persopolis exactly how Harvey and Joyce use their real names in their comic Our Cancer Year.
Luckily modern America has not experienced a war on the home front. But that terror and devastation is known very well around the world. In WW II the US benefitted from the fall of European countries and their reconstruction. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about things you don’t know about. In this case, Americans talk a lot about war and attacking other countries, but maybe we would think harder about it if we knew the destruction first hand.


  1. Nice post Doug, you gave a nice brief summary and encouraged me to hardcore dance in my dorm room.

  2. But how does the film relate to another text we've read (aside from Satrapi, Pekar, and Brabner using their real names--which is what you usually do in autobiography)?