Persepolis (2007)

persepolis poster 2007 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Amazing art and a good story

Simplifies the original books a bit

Movie Info

Movie Name: Persepolis

Studio: 2.4.7. Films/France 3 Cinema/The Kennedy/Marshall Company

Genre(s): Animated/Comic Book/Drama

Release Date(s): May 23, 2007 (Cannes)/June 27, 2007 (France)/December 25, 2007 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

persepolis marjane satrapi visits uncle bread bird

I’m glad you gave me another bread bird, uncle…I accidentally ate the last one

Marjane Satrapi loves punk music, wearing jeans, hanging out with friends…all things that a young girl likes to do.  Unfortunately, there is a problem. Marjane is growing up in the 1980s in Iran, and many of her favorite activities could get her jailed or even possibly executed.  As Marjane goes from childhood with her vocal parents, through different governments, and into adulthood, she finds herself loving a country that still restrains her.

Directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Persepolis creator Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis is an animated biopic.  The film is an adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s critically acclaimed graphic novels Persepolis (2001) and Persepolis 2 (2004) and was released to great reviews by critics.  It won the Grand Jury prize at Cannes and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.  A number of Middle Eastern countries did object the portrayals in the film.

persepolis punk is not dead coast marjnae satrapi

That’s right ladies…”PUNK IS NOT DED!!!”

I read Persepolis when it was relatively new and initially was worried about an adaptation.  The work feels very personal and generally comic book creators are not heavily involved with film productions.  When I learned Marjane Satrapi was actively involved in the film’s creation, it made me feel a lot better.

The story is very relatable because Marjane seems like a very normal girl in circumstances that many in the Western World might find unusual.  It is interesting to see someone struggling with their love for their country which to us seems oppressive. When you question why a person would defend this type of life, Persepolis reminds us that it isn’t defending the government, but the country itself.  For Marjane, Iran is home and most would defend their home.  She has grown up with this and it is her day-to-day life so there are points where she even has troubles understanding it.

Persepolis is aided by great animation. The movie perfectly captured Satrapi’s original art for her graphic novels. The art doesn’t glamorize, try to wow, or fill the viewer with bright colors.  The graphic novel is in black-and-white, but here the producers mostly shoot it in blues, black, white, and reds.  This allows you to focus on the story and also shows how Marjane is able to give great life to the characters easily.

persepolis marjane satrapi god

Are you there God? It’s me, Marjane.

Persepolis does simplify the story of Marjane’s two novels a bit and that is kind of unfortunate.  There seems to be a deeper connection to the reader in the graphic novel than the movie and partially it is because she can go into greater detail and smooth out some areas that seem a bit rushed in the movie.

Persepolis is a great animated feature and should be sought out if you haven’t seen it.  It isn’t for kids and there is some language in it, but adults probably can see themselves in Marjane and question what they’d do in her shoes if they were her age.  How can you hate a girl who wants to rock out with punk and metal groups of the ’80s?

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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