The Middle East, in more recent years, is starting to become a place full of violent content. Everywhere one looks, there is a sense of fear and terror throughout, making it impossible to stay or even live. So getting a documented look at the place is tricky. Luckily, we have the 2007 animated feature “Persepolis” to show how life in the Middle East is uncomfortable. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Marjane Satrapi, who also co-directs the movie, this breathtaking film showcases how strong animation can be for adults, and make something brilliant in return. “Persepolis” is a gritty look at how one woman saw through her eyes the radical changes of her country.
The story is told as an autobiographical tale of Marjane and her life growing up in Iran as a girl, and eventually as a woman in Europe. Unfortunately, Marjane sees many terrible things happen along the way. Things like the Islamic Revolution, the war between Iran and Iraq, being a foreigner in a new place, and many more. So, Marjane must adapt to the changes of society as she grows up into a woman trying to find her identity in this crazy world.
“Persepolis” is a fantastic film worthy of watching multiple times. As stated before, the story is an autobiographical piece of work, with a few fictional elements thrown in. As an American watching this movie, I can say that it is interesting to see a new perspective of a culture that’s rarely shows its true nature. Despite the fact that the setting is in the Middle East, the whole film is spoken in French, which is a nice contrast to both language barriers of French and Arabic. Speaking of the language, the cast does a good job in the French version, portraying each character perfectly. The music sets the tone of the movie perfectly as the entire production is very dramatic. But what really sells the film is the animation. The majority of the film is done in black and white, with a few spots in color, making the movie very close to its graphic novel roots. It’s mesmerizing, breathtaking, and beautiful to look at. Everything is well-designed and just gorgeous to look at.
One final note is that while the film is animated, this movie is definitely not for children. The subject matter of surviving through terrible times is very mature, as well as the themes present. In fact, there are a lot of thematic elements present, including strong language, violent and sexual situations, all of which are for the adult mind. This movie shows that there is a market for adult animated films to be made, this is a perfect example of it.
In conclusion, “Persepolis” is a fantastic film for adults, showing how the events at home can truly change a person.