Directed by Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
As much as I love watching movies, it is very rare when I get the feeling of time well spent after watching one.
‘Persepolis’ is one such movie. It is based on the autobiography of Marjane Satrapi , an Iranian based out of France. This quirky animated movie is about the coming of age of young Iranian girl amidst the volatile political climate of the country in 70s and 80s.
Marjane lives with her parents in Tehran. Her grandfather was in prison for being a communist and unsupportive of the Shah regime. Her family supports the underground movement to overthrow the Shah’s rule. As the Islamic revolution takes place, and Ayotollah Khomeni heads the country’s new government, Marjane’s family participates in the universal celebration of a better time to come.
They are however proved wrong, as the new Islamic Government starts indiscriminate execution of all nationalists and Marxists and imposes stringent rules on the general populace. The fibre of the country weakens and Iraq, its neighbour commemces attacks, weakening further the strength of the people.Its in this environment that most of Marjane’s childhood is spent. She experiences loss for the very first time when her Uncle Anush is executed by the government. Her God and grandmother form her strength and her touchstones.
Apart from being a basic lesson in Iranian history , the movie depicts the chaos as soon through the eyes of this young girl. Smuggling into underground parties, buying rock albums in the hiding from the moral police, listening to concocted pro-government history in the classroom – all form the daily life of Marjane.And the constant fear of being executed for having offended the rulers.
The movie is not only about the political turmoil, its also about the growing pains of an average girl, her first love, her first heartbreak, her first experience away from home, the need to fit in a new country and so on. Its about innocence and its loss.
Though the movie deals with very serious themes, the poignant but humorous script and animated depiction never lets you take anything too seriously. It’s amazing for someone to see all this in a lifetime and be able to tell it the way it is told.
Verdict : A must must watch