Persepolis (12A)

Film

Animation

Persepolis (2008)

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
Rate this
 

Time Out says

Posted: Wed Apr 25 2007

The original French version of this adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s sensitive and sharp autobiographical graphic novel picked up the Prix du Jury at last year’s Cannes and was nominated for the animated feature Oscar earlier this year. Now there’s an English-language version, with Sean Penn voicing Marjane’s sensible, caring father,Chiara Mastroianni reprising her role as Marjane, and Gena Rowlands stepping in as Marjane’s worldly wise grandmother with a great line in bitchy, conspiratorial put-downs. Iggy Pop even features as the voice of Marjane’s impressive, radical uncle.

It’s not the voices, though, that make Satrapi’s film so distinctive: that honour goes to her soft black-and-white drawings of characters and foregrounds and her charcoal backgrounds of Tehran or Vienna or Paris. Also distinctive is her  precocious child-turned-reflective adult’s eye view of the people around her and the changing fortunes of Iran. Born in 1969, Satrapi’s passage from childhood to adulthood coincided with her country’s own passage from Shah through revolution to Islamic state. Outspoken and disruptive as a smart schoolgirl in the new Iran, Satrapi was sent to a school in Vienna, where she discovered music and men and struggled with the bourgeois apathy of her ‘anarchist’ schoolmates. She later settled in Paris, and it’s a series of inserts, in colour, of her as an adult at Charles de Gaulle airport, reflecting on the past, that gives the film its voiceover and sense of reminiscence.

‘Persepolis’ is realism seen through special eyes. Satrapi’s animation, with its stark monochrome palette and soft edges, allows her to stress the warmth of her family while suddenly lunging into the mood of claustrophobia caused by prying relatives, Iran’s moral police or leering men on the street. The shift from French subtitles, which suited the film’s roots in the graphic novel, to English voices (especially with the political undercurrents of Penn’s involvement) may jar a little with anyone who has seen the original, but that’s a minor quibble. This is a delightful, curious film that indulges in both the personal and the political and provides a potted history of modern Iran through one woman’s experience.

0

Reviews

Add +

Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Apr 25, 2008

Duration:

96 mins

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|19
1 person listening
Sara

This movie was amazing. A must see for any human. The animation was humorous and unique. A perfect 'Slice of Life' story that is rarely seen. The history of human stupidity and violence explained easily. Even better was the graphic novel.

Sara

This movie was amazing. A must see for any human. The animation was humorous and unique. A perfect 'Slice of Life' story that is rarely seen. The history of human stupidity and violence explained easily. Even better was the graphic novel.

Technoguy

A real feisty film more universal(and all the better)for being drawn. It would have lost universality if real people had been used. It's clear that in totalitarian regimes it's always the feminine comic spirit that is most subversive with its use of laughter and ridicule. The truth will out whatever ideology represses it. The drawings are based upon Satrapi's graphic novel where the personal is political.Autobiographical but not narcissistic which is it's real interest,with not a computer drawing in sight but with the warmth and imperfection of the hand-drawn which will long outlast any computer graphic.What comic exuberance even with its treatment of an out-of-touch God who Marji berates. I liked that scene where she tells her Gran she is divorcing and the Gran defuses the emotion saying "I thought somebody had died". She goes to Vienna and Paris witnessing nihilism,racism and the emptiness of 'love' returning home a more complex adult.The content-war and Islamic revolution-the biggest thing to happen since the fall of the Berlin wall (or even before it )towards the end of the twentieth century-is what makes the story translated into such a graphic medium so amazing.

Technoguy

A real feisty film more universal(and all the better)for being drawn. It would have lost universality if real people had been used. It's clear that in totalitarian regimes it's always the feminine comic spirit that is most subversive with its use of laughter and ridicule. The truth will out whatever ideology represses it. The drawings are based upon Satrapi's graphic novel where the personal is political.Autobiographical but not narcissistic which is it's real interest,with not a computer drawing in sight but with the warmth and imperfection of the hand-drawn which will long outlast any computer graphic.What comic exuberance even with its treatment of an out-of-touch God who Marji berates. I liked that scene where she tells her Gran she is divorcing and the Gran defuses the emotion saying "I thought somebody had died". She goes to Vienna and Paris witnessing nihilism,racism and the emptiness of 'love' returning home a more complex adult.The content-war and Islamic revolution-the biggest thing to happen since the fall of the Berlin wall (or even before it )towards the end of the twentieth century-is what makes the story translated into such a graphic medium so amazing.

George

Beautiful! Respect for the human dignity cannot be tarnished neither by a cruel authoritiarian fundamentalism nor by a free world of consumerism. Love and respect for every one is basic.

George

Beautiful! Respect for the human dignity cannot be tarnished neither by a cruel authoritiarian fundamentalism nor by a free world of consumerism. Love and respect for every one is basic.

Ian

Sojournpasse said 'at least have the decency to read a bit about history and do some research...'. I dont know what work you do, but i get 3 hrs to write a 750 word article in my line. If the film reviewer is the same, i think there's a limit to the approach he can take ie time doesn't allow research into entire cultures!

Ian

Sojournpasse said 'at least have the decency to read a bit about history and do some research...'. I dont know what work you do, but i get 3 hrs to write a 750 word article in my line. If the film reviewer is the same, i think there's a limit to the approach he can take ie time doesn't allow research into entire cultures!

ka

I absolutely adore this film. For me, it is about INTEGRITY and, as Usman put it 'the search for your own truth'. Thank you Usman for the most intelligent, impassioned and insightful review that I have read. It saddens me that, elsewhere, I read that some people feel it is 'anti' Iranian or 'pro' West. In a world full of battling '-isms', this opens eyes to what it is to be 'human'-in ourselves, in our families, in our communities and in the big wide world out there. With our eyes on keeping our dignity and integrity - what are we truly capable of? Thank you Marjane Satrapi. For in speaking for you, you speak for many who have yet to develop the courage to speak in their own voice.

ka

I absolutely adore this film. For me, it is about INTEGRITY and, as Usman put it 'the search for your own truth'. Thank you Usman for the most intelligent, impassioned and insightful review that I have read. It saddens me that, elsewhere, I read that some people feel it is 'anti' Iranian or 'pro' West. In a world full of battling '-isms', this opens eyes to what it is to be 'human'-in ourselves, in our families, in our communities and in the big wide world out there. With our eyes on keeping our dignity and integrity - what are we truly capable of? Thank you Marjane Satrapi. For in speaking for you, you speak for many who have yet to develop the courage to speak in their own voice.

Andrew

Thanks Usman for your analysis and the extra info at the end. However I'm not sure Marjane Satrapi takes such a cynical view of the experiences described in her story. To quote her interview on this website: "The vocation of the film is not to give answers. I never say: this is good, or this is not good. Things happen and the viewer can decide for him or herself. The people who give answers are preachers, and I hate preachers."

Andrew

Thanks Usman for your analysis and the extra info at the end. However I'm not sure Marjane Satrapi takes such a cynical view of the experiences described in her story. To quote her interview on this website: "The vocation of the film is not to give answers. I never say: this is good, or this is not good. Things happen and the viewer can decide for him or herself. The people who give answers are preachers, and I hate preachers."

usman

Sojournposse said... well said -i totally agree -with every word of your analysis of this review

usman

Sojournposse said... well said -i totally agree -with every word of your analysis of this review

Sojournposse

With an evident lack of knowledge of Persian art or culture, world politics, and even graphic design for that matter, Timeout reviewer Dave Calhoun tries his best to appreciate Satrapi's point of view by commenting on the obvious stuff that the audience can figure out themselves, such as the use of monochromatic palletes in the film (yawn), and the "bitchy, conspiratorial put-downs" of the Satrapi's grandmother, courtesy of Gena Rowlands' one liners. Thank heavens for Web 2.0 and citizen journalism. I understand Calhoun is not from a Persian background, but for journalism's sake, at least have the decency to read a bit about history and do some research before falling back on the tired old technique of sarcasm and flippancy to make up for the lack of wisdom and knowledge. And they wonder why the new media is killing paid journalism?

Sojournposse

With an evident lack of knowledge of Persian art or culture, world politics, and even graphic design for that matter, Timeout reviewer Dave Calhoun tries his best to appreciate Satrapi's point of view by commenting on the obvious stuff that the audience can figure out themselves, such as the use of monochromatic palletes in the film (yawn), and the "bitchy, conspiratorial put-downs" of the Satrapi's grandmother, courtesy of Gena Rowlands' one liners. Thank heavens for Web 2.0 and citizen journalism. I understand Calhoun is not from a Persian background, but for journalism's sake, at least have the decency to read a bit about history and do some research before falling back on the tired old technique of sarcasm and flippancy to make up for the lack of wisdom and knowledge. And they wonder why the new media is killing paid journalism?

usman khawaja

a humourous satire on the global attitudes to race ,religion and politics and sparing no one --the east or the west -a must see -the personal account of an enlightened female within the context of war and revolution

usman khawaja

a humourous satire on the global attitudes to race ,religion and politics and sparing no one --the east or the west -a must see -the personal account of an enlightened female within the context of war and revolution