Persepolis, Oscar nominated for best animated movie, finally opened here in Las Vegas. Marjane Satrapi, who wrote and drew Persepolis the graphic novel (actually they were originally released as two graphic novels, but now there's a one volume edition), also co-directed the movie and it was even better than I thought it would be. The animation style is done in the style of Satrapi's drawings and the effect this brings to the subject matter, makes the movie all the more powerful. The movie is in French (subtitled of course), as Satrapi lives in France and that's the language her books were first published in (and went on to win top honors at the Angouleme International Comics Festival).
Persepolis, the graphic novel and movie, is the autobiographical story of Satrapi growing up in Iran during the late 1970's and 1980's. Satrapi, in Persepolis, wonderfully, often painfully, shows how difficult just the growing up process is, but how for her that experience was compounded because of having to do so within the difficult political climate that is Iran. She also spent some of her later teenage years in France and Austria and being in foreign countries without family presented problems as well.
Satrapi's grandmother is shown as a very strong influencing figure in her life, and the scenes between Marjane and her grandmother are worth the price of admission alone. I remembered Satrapi's fascination with American pop culture from reading the books and thought the movie did a better job of describing the political turmoil going on in Iran, but when I looked at the books again after seeing the movie, saw that she covered a lot of that same ground in her books (it's just been a while since I'd read them). There's a scene in Persepolis in which Marjane makes a song by Survivor (the song that was first made popular in the first Rocky movie) her own and I won't be able to ever here that song again without thinking of her.
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