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Directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi

Directed by: Directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi
Nifty animated French film Persepolis is a movie about the Iran where the film's co-writer and co-director, graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, grew up---a country torn apart by an eight-year war, governed by leaders who refused to accept political dissent. But it's also about Satrapi's coming of age and its awkward trappings---including a bout with depression, a friendship with pretentious nihilists, a tryst with a gay hippie and an ill-advised marriage. "A revolution had carried off part of my family. I had survived a war...but a banal love story nearly killed me," comments Marji, after she catches another paramour cheating on her, and proceeds to spent the ensuing weeks hungry and homeless. It's the kind of insightful line that can only be written from a reflective distance. The rest of Persepolis displays a similar wisdom. Using beautiful, sometimes-playful artwork (one sequence features a stunning, shadowy rooftop chase, and another has a horny Groening-esque dog), Satrapi depicts the experiences, choices and country that shaped her, and pays tribute to the thoughtful, brave family who taught her critical thinking and the integrity needed to craft such a mature, clear-eyed memoir---then urged her to leave her restrictive homeland behind.
---Lindsay McCarney

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Vol 27, No 8
July 18, 2019

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