Sunday, April 27, 2008


The last animated film I saw at the cinema was The Simpsons Movie [sic], which was like a 1 1/2hr episode of The Simpsons. I suppose some comparisons could be made with Persepolis, but they'd be strained and not really add anything to the discussion.
The style of animation is amazing - the opening sequence is amazing, especially considering it's all hand drawn. The main animation is a lot more "comic book", which it was based on, and it helped make the story more digestible. I was reminded of Calvin and Hobbes at times...
The story is of a girl, Marji, growing up in during the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, and the following rise of the Ayatollah. Marji's parents are quite westernized, drinking and partying, and are part of the demonstrations at the time of the Shah's demise. Several people around Marji have been involved in the revolution movement - her grandfather was imprisoned, and her uncle was exiled in Russia, and, when he tried to return to Iran, was imprisoned for several years.
The story is harrowing, and the scenes of the Iran-Iraq conflict made me ashamed to be human. This, however, is not a film about politics. This is Marji's story of growing up with mayhem and food shortages, in a male dominated Islamic society. Marji's not the kind of woman to accept things without questioning, and this brings both tension and humor to the film.
What I most admired about the film is that it shows that Iran is populated with people - a fact that's easy to forget amidst the furore of politician's war rattles.

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