Sunday, February 17, 2008

Powerful beautiful film "Persepolis" at The Carolina Theatre

The film is about an Iranian girl, Marjane, growing up at the time of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It shows, through luscious black and white animation, how Iran dramatically changed when the powerful combination of religious fundamentalism and nationalism oppressed and deprived families such as Marjane's. You see her family's hopes for her to someday be an educated, independent woman dashed as the fundies demand women be hidden by scarves and adhere to religious laws.

Marjane's rebelliousness and tendency to push back against authority as a teen eventually lead her parents to send her to Vienna, but she doesn't quite fit in there either. She can't get out of her mind what her family is going through back home Iran.

I couldn't get out of my mind the nasty influence of rah-rah nationalism combined with religious fundamentalism and what it can do to a civilized country in such a relatively short time.

It's utterly absorbing. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and Jury Prize at 2007 Cannes, along with a host of other film awards. Here's the official site.

The film is based on the autobiographical novel by Marjane Satrapi. I intend to get a copy of this so I can compare it to what I saw on the screen.

Catherine Deneuve voices Marjane's mother in the film.

Go see it on the big screen while it's in town if you can. Highly recommended.


Jack said...

An enjoyable film on many levels. For me, the sign of a really good animated film is when you forget that you ARE watching an animated film. This was the case here, primarily due to the fact that the story was so well told. It was quite the history lesson for me as well, told from the perspective a true insider.

I almost hate to say it, but seeing it on the big screen is almost a necessity. Not so much for the story line, but to truly appreciate the way the animator/s uses light.

Pauline Kael said...

I think I'd like to see it again. It was beautiful.