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Persepolis (2007)

Chiara Mastroianni , Catherine Deneuve , Marjane Satrapi , Vincent Paronnaud  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Danielle Darrieux, Simon Abkarian
  • Directors: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud
  • Writers: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud
  • Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Marc-Antoine Robert, Rémi Burah, Tara Grace
  • Format: AC-3, Black & White, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French, English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YAA68W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,262 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Persepolis" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A fascinating and wholly unexpected take on Iran’s Islamic revolution beginning in the 1970s, Persepolis is an enthralling, animated feature about a spirited young woman who spends her life trying to deal with the consequences of her nation’s history. Based on an autobiographical comic book by Marjane Satrapi, the story concerns Marji (voiced as a teenager and woman by Chiara Mastroianni), whose natural fire and precociousness are slowly dampened by the rise of religious extremists. Marji grieves over the imprisonment and execution of a beloved uncle, then begrudgingly adapts to ever-tightening rules about dress, social mores, education for women, and expectations about marriage and divorce. Along the way, her grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) and mother (Catherine Deneuve) help keep Marji grounded during her rebellious teens and encourage her to find life beyond Iran’s borders, a decision that proves both a blessing and curse. An unique window onto a crucial chapter of 20th century history, Persepolis is graphically engaging with its black-and-white, bold lines and feeling of repressed energy, fit to burst. The emotional content is so strong that after awhile, one almost forgets the film is a cartoon. Satrapi co-wrote the screenplay and co-directed the film along with animator Vincent Paronnaud. --Tom Keogh

Stills from Persepolis (click for larger image)







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Product Description

Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl coming-of-age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine-year-old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power — forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the "social guardians" and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable. As she gets older, Marjane's boldness causes her parents to worry over her continued safety. And so, at age fourteen, they make the difficult decision to send her to school in Austria. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, she endures the typical ordeals of a teenager. In addition, Marjane has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape. Over time, she gains acceptance, and even experiences love, but after high school she finds herself alone and horribly homesick. Though it means putting on the veil and living in a tyrannical society, Marjane decides to return to Iran to be close to her family. After a difficult period of adjustment, she enters art school and marries, all the while continuing to speak out against the hypocrisy she witnesses. At age 24, she realizes that while she is deeply Iranian, she cannot live in Iran. She then makes the heartbreaking decision to leave her homeland for France, optimistic about her future, shaped indelibly by her past.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Freedom always has a price" June 26, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Persepolis" is an animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name about her childhood in Tehran during the last Iranian revolution and coming of age after emigrating to Vienna. It is an extraordinarily ordinary story about an average woman coming to terms with herself and with the world around her. Did I say "average woman"? My bad. I meant dynamic, charming, intelligent, and fiercely individualistic. Ms. Satrapi's story is among the finest works ever animated and bestows upon the viewer the endless virtues of knowledge, a broadened mind, and a true perspective on humanity. "Persepolis" will break your heart, make you smile and laugh out loud, cheer, possibly sing, and restore your faith in humanity. The fact that this was passed over for an Oscar in favor of yet another mediocre Pixar effort (about a rat that controls a chef by pulling his hair, no less) is the ultimate proof positive that that award (or any other, really) has no merit whatsoever.

Young Marji walks down the street to the place where shady characters reside. As she passes each bootlegger, they whisper the names of the forbidden fruit they possess. "Lipstick" whispers one, "Jichael Mackson" mispronounces another. She continues on until she hears what she wants: "Iron Maiden". She quickly negotiates a price and makes off with her prize just as a group of overbearing religious figures tower over her. They have taken issue with her shoes: plain sneakers. Marjie insists they are for basketball, but another spots her Michael Jackson patch, a symbol of American greed. Then the coup-de-gras; she has "punk is not dead" scrawled across the back of her outfit.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Every once in a while a great revelation comes in cinema... and we have one here!

Based on the graphic novels The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, this 90 minute film is a superb translation of the original source material. The heavily stylized black and white cartoon is very powerful yet remains simple in it's universal emotional core. The charming little girl we are introduced slowly grows up to be a defiant woman in a place that is not for her. As we go along with the journey characters come and go, but the threat of Marjane's story never becomes weak, every plot point makes an impact. The melancholy score and spirited rendition of Eye of the Tiger add a wonderful layer to the whole experience.

This film is a breath of fresh air in this cynical age of high concept mega tent-pole films. For Iranians, it's a bittersweet journey home, and for Americans... a great chance to see that Iranians are not the monsters portrayed in the never ending game of politico.

A magnificent black and white film for an era of oh so gray problems.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Marjane Satrapi, lives with her parents (voiced by Catherine Deneuve and Simon Abkarian) in Iran during the difficult times leading up to and from the removal of the Shah. Marjane frequently spends time with her grandmother (voiced by Danielle Darrieux) who bristles at the new restrictions placed on women. As Marjane (voiced by Chianni Mastrianni) grows up, she learns about new things, including rock music, and wears band t-shirts under her traditional dress, attends parties to make out with boys, and has remarkable luck staying one step ahead of the police. Eventually, things become so bad in Iran, and everyone realizes Marjane will never reach her full potential there, that she is sent to live in Vienna. Later, she returns, heartbroken, and can't handle the religious and political pressures placed on the young people of her generation. She eventually immigrates to France.

Strangely, what I have just described is the synopsis for the new animated film "Persepolis". This new film from France has been winning many awards and garnering a lot of attention. Even more strangely, Marjane Satrapi bases it on semi-autobiographical graphic novels. The idea alone is enough to garner the project attention, but the end result is very good, giving us a fascinating look at the life of one girl who grew up in a difficult time, in a difficult place, and chose a fairly unique way to tell her story.

Satrapi's drawing style is eye-catching. Seemingly very simplistic, she catches a lot of detail by showing the pattern on a dress, for example, to make the drawing seem more significant than a simple black and white line drawing. Throughout, she captures little details like this, allowing us to get a glimpse of what life was like in this tumultuous part of the country's history.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Bear the Unbearable" July 2, 2008
Format:DVD
Forget your stereotypes of Iranians. `Persepolis' is an engagingly funny, sad, and poignant look at Merjane (Margie) (Chiara Mastrorianni) a girl who grows up in Tehran during the 1980's. Despite our possible preconceptions, Merjane surprisingly sports addidas sneakers, eats French fries, and yearns to shave her legs. The movie provides an absorbing history lesson, showing us the close up ramifications of people's lives behind the headlines, and tells a captivating story about a girl trying to belong and survive under dire circumstances.

Until all the world changing events, Merjane lets us know, "I led a peaceful, uneventful life as a child." Within the family, Merjan's uncle is kindly, yet communist. He's probably seen enough dictatorships and knows of only one way out. His ordeal is documented well enough. The most supportive in the family is Merjane's grandmother (Daniell Darrieux), whose affection and wisdom go a long way. Her parents (Catherine Deneuve and Simon Abkarian) are also good people who yearn for freedom, but know how to keep Merjane's best interests above their own.

During the time, we get a first person perspective on the Shah of Iran, his rise to power, the unrest that led to his exile, and his subsequent replacement by Ayatolla Kohmeni while Saddam Hussein rose to power in Iraq. From the narrative and the played out scenes, we get the pedestrian view of how these events came into fruition and their implications in everyday lives. Later, the Iran-Iraq War is particularly unsettling for her entire country. For her safety, Merjan flees her country and settles into Austria where she develops not so close friendships with the "Out" group, seeking refuge in the punk rock/alternative scene.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Persepolis
This animation was reviewed by New York Times quite awhile ago. It was a good review and I was curious. A few month later I bought it from amazon.com. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Kyo Takahashi
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale of coming of age combined with a bit of history
I was told of this by a friend working in our university women's center. It sounded interesting, but I didn't have time too vie it, until now. Read more
Published 24 days ago by P.C.Gamer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Unusual
I tried to watch this at one time and couldn't enjoy the animation. However, I watched it in its entirety and was really surprised by how creative the animation became and... Read more
Published 27 days ago by David M Stanton
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Storyline, but Lacking Specifics
I like the storyline, but the film is lacking in details on the family's situation as to how they weren't able to get out of Iran, yet there daughter was. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I absolutely loved the graphics but it does skip some parts of the novel. Other than that, i loved it!!
Published 1 month ago by Jocelyn Gonzalez
4.0 out of 5 stars A great movie
A look for the inside of a not only a young woman struggling to find her place outside of her country, but from with inside of it as well.
Published 1 month ago by james sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Emotive Work
This was an incredibly moving film. It greatly humanizes the plight of Iranians during the Islamic Revolution, for a Western audience that may not know the whole story.
Published 1 month ago by J. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful film Adds to Sense of Iranian History
I used this film with a class I have taught and found it enhances the book for students. Good use of animation graphics along with music and alternation of color/black/white... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barbara A. Lucius
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My God
Well, that was a slap in the face.

I saw the Euro-Inspired animation look of this film, and had to see it. And how was it? Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ian Hutchins
5.0 out of 5 stars From a Teacher
There is so much history and information packed into this memoir written as a graphic novel! I'm an English teacher, so I found myself doing a lot of outside research so that my... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maplewood Girl
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