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Persepolis 2007 PG-13 CC

Writer and director Marjane Satrapi draws a poignant story about a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, when peoples hopes were dashed as fundamentalists took power.

Starring:
Simon Abkarian, Danielle Darrieux
Runtime:
1 hour, 36 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Comedy, Kids & Family
Director Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Starring Simon Abkarian, Danielle Darrieux
Supporting actors Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Gabrielle Lopes
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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"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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21 Comments 84 of 88 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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.
Comment 41 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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1 Comment 27 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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3 Comments 13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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