Posted by: kfugrip | February 6, 2008


Persepolis, written and directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, is a film based on the autobiographical comic book about Marjane Satrapi and her experiences growing up in Iran and Vienna. She was there during a time of revolution and was forced to leave twice, once because of war and again because of the limits that the fundamentalist society places on her life.

I have not read the comics and that is a shame.

What I liked: There were some inventive visual moments, like what I’ll term the “snake-ladies” sequence, that add an interesting flavor to the film. All told the style of drawing and animation was smart and a welcome departure from the dumbed down vanilla animation that dominates the current landscape, the backgrounds in particular. Marjane is an interesting person who lived through times rife with drama. The details of the Iranian revolution and the country’s move towards its current regime were my favorite parts.

What I didn’t like: There was a distance and a remove in the film that never allowed me to get emotionally involved with this woman. I feel like it was the style of storytelling where the narration tells us something and we see a sequence that symbolizes it but we don’t actually see it happen. Combine that with the fact that the story was animated in a stylistic way, mostly in black and white and you get the remove that I felt. It’s a shame because the movie is so dramatic.

I also didn’t respond towards the more personal moments in her life because of it. Her relationships with men, for example, I found completely uninteresting. I feel the strength of the story lies in her sense of being Iranian, and when the film strays from this so does my attention.

3 stars




  1. Thank you for watching movies, so I don’t have to. No, really. Thank you.

  2. Upon following your instruction to “peep the format” I must conclude I like it very much. Clean, crisp and easy to follow. Also, your font choice has given me a halfie. Take that as a compliment or an offer. Just sayin I like the font, is all.

  3. This review just confirms my suspicions- This movie is not for me.

  4. Don’t be too quick to judge Josh. It was worth it in many ways, the art was pretty incredible, much better than I expected. It was intuitive and beautiful. But Adam is right that there is a definite disconnect. You do feel very much like a story is just being told to you, rather than connecting with the story yourself. It’s too bad because the books (graphic novels), espeically the first one, are great.

  5. I have to admit. Im slightly intimidated by the preview of this movie.

    Its very possible I could give two shits about an Iranian girls problems adjusting to extremist rule. Am I part of the US of A’s problems? Probably.

    Or maybe Id just rather see this story told about a girl coming out of West Baltimore, or Harlem or the Bronx or Anacostia (D.C.), hell even Applachia.

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