Starring: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands
Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Running Time: 98 mins
Persepolis is a French film about the life of a young Iranian woman, who, as a more outspoken and rebellious individual in comparison to the rest of her family and friends, endures a tough life at the height of the Islamic Revolution.
I thought that this was an absolutely fantastic film. Not only is it a really hard-hitting and poignant story, but it’s also very engrossing, and even often very funny. I was entranced by the story of Marjane Satrapi, which encompasses both a fascinating coming-of-age tale as well as a look at the historical context of the 1960s-90s in Iran.
Instead of all that, however, what I’m going to start with is the fact that this is an animation, and a weird one too. It’s not by any means realistic animation, yet nor is it that more dramatic animation that you see in many of these films (Chico & Rita, Waltz With Bashir), but instead, it’s all a lot like a children’s picture book.
This was most interesting for two reasons. Firstly, I felt that the more casual animation really took the strain off of the extremely heavy-hitting nature of the film, and allowed some more of the fun and entertaining aspects to shine through, while I also thought that, despite Marjane’s growing up in such a difficult time, it retains a constant atmosphere of some degree of innocence from here childhood years at the beginning of the film, which I liked.
However, don’t think for a moment that this film is innocent. On the one hand, it’s a grand political statement all about the oppression of the various Iranian governments throughout this period, while on the other hand, it’s a look at how tough it is for people from this background to adapt and move to the West to live, especially in their growing up phase.
The character of Marjane was also very likeable and easy to support, which was very important. Based on a true story, this was really impressive, and despite her being a very outspoken and rebellious person under this tyranny, which can often be annoying, she really inspired me, leaving me wanting her to win all the time.
Finally, this film is also very entertaining. As well as being engrossing, it’s funny at the same time, due to the animation, and the often innocent atmosphere, as well as Marjane’s character, and that also helped to change the atmosphere from hard-hitting to fun, something very different and interesting, so that’s why I’ll give this an 8.4.