Tuesday, January 22, 2008


This is the movie poster, but the
cover of the graphic novel looks similar.

I see an educational opportunity on the horizon with PERSEPOLIS, the Oscar-nomiated graphic novel turned movie. It was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. I have not read the graphic novel nor seen the movie so I am at a disadvantage, but here is the synopsis from the website: the website:

Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is th 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. 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. 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.

Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novels Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood (Pantheon, 2003, English version) and Persepolis 2: the Story of a Return (Pantheon, 2004, English version) won widespread acclaim in France, now her home, and around the world. Now, she has co-directed, with Vincent Paronnaud, the animated film version of her memoir.

The title PERSEPOLIS comes from the Persian capital founded in the 6th century BC by Darius I, later destroyed by Alexander the Great. It’s a reminder that there’s an old and grand civilization, besieged by waves of invaders but carrying on through milennia, that is much deeper and more complex than the current-day view of Iran as a monoculture of fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism.

“I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists,” Satrapi says. “I also don’t want those Iranians who lost their lives in prisons defending freedom, who died in the war against Iraq, who suffered under various repressive regimes, or who

Undoubtedly, the graphic novel world is growing and comic literature is being accepted for its literary value. There is an educational opportunity with this graphic novel and movie to explore the world of Iran through one of its young people. The target audience Your guess is as good as mine as what age group this is appropriate for. The movie is PG-13. Again, I haven’t read the book and I haven’t seen the film.

Click here to see the graphic novel
Click here to see the movie trailer
Click here to see the official movie site

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The movie will be shown at The Moxie next month Jack - http://blog.moxiecinema.com/. Oh, and so will the 3rd annual Show-Me Film Festival, Feb 15-17.