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Persepolis (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]


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Editorial Reviews

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 experien

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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)







Beyond Persepolis


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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: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Black & White, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017APPSO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,635 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Persepolis (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 83 people found the following review helpful By trashcanman VINE VOICE on 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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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Pasha Supreme on January 9, 2008
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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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By thornhillatthemovies.com VINE VOICE on January 31, 2008
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 7, 2008
Marjane Satrapi presents the first part of her autobiographical series, based on the graphic novel of the same name. For those of you who haven't read the book, this movie has little in the way of plot - well, that's true of most people's lives. Instead, the fascination comes from the movie's sense of reality. Marji starts as a precocious and sometimes scary little girl of six or so, and matures into her early twenties as we watch. She gives some idea of what a child sees in the blast rubble that used to be a neighbor's house (and what used to be the neighbor). When she attends school, we see her as the permanent outsider, among but never truly of her peers' society. Then, when she returns to her family in Teheran, she brings her European sensibility into a nation teetering on the edge of repressive theocracy. She has become a stranger in her own country and family, and maybe in her own life.

A few things leap out at a Western viewer. One might be Marjane's intense political awareness, from a very early age. It makes sense, though. She's a grand-daughter very few generations away from someone who ruled Iran, then was overthrown a handful of overthrows ago. In a nation where clan feuds recall events hundreds of years back, that puts her practically on the front line, even as a child. Her family name, Satrapi, long ago entered the English language as "satrap," a mid-eastern ruler. No wonder she went to sleep with bedtime stories of her uncle's imprisonment and torture.

The other striking feature of this movie is its stark visual style. People are simple line drawings, with blocky black or white patches for clothing. Backgrounds generally resemble ink wash on a rough-surfaced watercolor paper.
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