February 17, 2008


My personal countdown to the Oscars continues, this time with a nominee for Best Animated Feature Film.
Persepolis is a French film, the autobiography of Iranian Marjane Satrapi. We all learned about the Shah and the Ayatollah Khomeini in school. We heard how the Iranians wouldn't release the American hostages. I worried about the Iran-Iraq war. We still hear Iran being mentioned as part of the axis of evil. After I read the first Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood graphic novel, I was hooked. She humanized Iran and its people. (She wrote a sequel, 'The Story of a Return'. The movie draws from both books.) Through her beautiful artwork, she showed us what it was like to grow up female during the Islamic Revolution, the alienation of immigrants, the ignorance of the West, the dangers of fundamentalism, the family ties that bind.

Ms. Satrapi's film is even more breathtaking in its simplicity. In this day of CGI, the animation in the film is a visual treat. I wanted to linger on every frame and take in all the details but having to read the subtitles made it hard. It is clever, restrained, never maudlin. It is laugh-out-loud funny yet poignant. I love her grandmother! Catherine Deneuve is the voice of her mother. I'm rooting for it to win the Academy Award.

Watch Ms. Satrapi hold her own against the mighty nailologist Stephen Colbert.

(Thanks to Seattlepi.com for the video)


Pinky said...

I loved this too!!

That Jikael Mackson joke was great! But that line when she said something like your lost in the foreign land and a stranger in your own country hit me really hard because that's how I've always felt. It just goes to show that people have the same experience no matter what country you come from. It is the human condition.

Lani said...

True that :(

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