Marjane Satrapi is the leading character of the story, the author of a cartoon strip about the same character and one of the authors of the movie, along with Vincent Paronnaud. "Persepolis" is an animation movie directed in France, using traditional drawing methods and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008, for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. The movie also won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2007. Visual, narrative and sound poetry.
“Persepolis” is a beautiful story about the adventures of a girl during the constant persecutions of the dictatorial regime in Iran, and, afterwards, Iraq. Marjane is a child in a world at war, then a teenager in exhile in Austria and, finally, an immigrant in France. Her autobiography is, not only moving, because it is so well told and emotionally strong, it can also go beyond the story of an Iranian woman in the West, with every misunderstanding and strangeness lived, generalizing the subject to the point where it becomes a tale about every dictatorship. To create this effect, the author used, in the making of the movie, what she calls a stylized and abstract graphic representation, taking advantage of clean, yet expressive, lines. I believe this effect, generated by the stylish essence of the lines, is so outstanding that I've often found myself thinking about the expressiveness of those eyes, those mouths and magnetic animated gestures. Lines so convincing and moving they could bring you to tears. Essential lines where nothing is surplus, where nothing is decorative. A simplicity that touches you.
The settings of the movie are beautiful, taking advantage of a few textures, mixing them with shades and blots that are very stylized and plane. The composition of the environments is very rich, when it comes to using fundamental lines and playing with the contrast between darkness and light, underlining the sets with bits of colour. The traditional animation, which, according to the movie's extras, takes advantage of techniques that hadn't been used for ,at least, 20 years, in France, accentuates, through a process of evening out the drawings, the aesthetic value of the movie. The sound effects are magic and Chiara Mastroianni's voice brings out the comical and the dramatic side of Marjane, a nine-year-old girl who, between the late 70s and the early 80s, witnesses the killing of her family and friends by fundamentalists who rise to power and force women to waer veils and obey senseless rules. Marjane, a girl who used to like to dance to the sound of Iron Maiden, of the punk movement, to wear sneakers and jackets with activist phrases. A girl like any other, who, at the age of nine, wanted to be a prophet.
The movie was directed after the success of two autobiographical comics books published by Marjane Satrapi under the names “Persepolis” I and II and doesn't want to forsake the memory of those who lost their freedom in order to fight a repressive government, which imposed values only legitimised by few. An animation film that is too beautiful to be true...