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Why Is Persepolis The Best Film On The Iranian Revolution?

Updated on July 26, 2016
JayD19 profile image

I am Jay Doshi, a Movie fan. I've been watching films from as young an age that I can remember. It's something I dearly love.


"A beautiful contradiction- a girl's innocence vs a violent Iran -in animation"

Overall rating: 9.5/10

Script: 9/10

Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel "Persepolis" is made into this film of the same name. Following a story-telling format, the script is written as a flashback of Marjane Satrapi at an airport. Satrapi is a well-known writer who also wrote the graphic novel and is from Iran. She has written the script to entertain the viewer and also wanting the viewer to feel her emotions at the same time.

Satrapi has back-dropped her family's desires and changes in post-revolution Iran with the violence and conservationist attitude of the new rulers.

The Screenplay adapted from the book can be credited for creating a coherent version of the graphic novel in a concise format.

Facts in the film: 8.5/10

Satrapi shows a well -explained account of the Iran pre- and post-revolution and how it affected a lot of liberal-minded Iranians. A personal point of confusion was the real forces behind the revolution as explained by Satrapi. She has written about the revolution and that the people behind the revolution jailed the communists in the nation. This meant before and after the revolution, communists like Satrapi's uncle Anouche were also made to suffer. I personally found it a bit blurry why the communists never came to power in the new rule.

Why did the communists not become the new rulers? My understanding was that communists caused the revolution and then came to power. But Satrapi has contradicted that.

Animation: 9.2/10

The animation of Persepolis is predominantly coloured in black-n-white to give the timeless feel to the film. As the movie is targeted to a wider audience including children, much of the violence has been subtle. Guns and explosions have been shown by dissipating clouds covering the aftermath.

What caught by mind is there is just one scene where Satrapi is wearing a red dress and the color is shown. The same is shown in the last scene of the movie. I still wonder why this was done and would like to know the reasons for it.

(SEE PICTURES) Only one scene has color-where Satrapi is wearing a red dress. This reminds me of the girl in red dress you see in Schindler's List. Both movies have color at just one scene and it's the color red.

Top: Only scene with color in Persepolis
Color: Red dress

Bottom: Only scene with color in Schindler's List
Color: Red dress

Voice overs: 9/10

I watched the French language version of the film with English subtitles. The voice-overs were spot on as I know a bit of French. There was no mumbling or lack of clarity which was audible.

In the English language version, Sean Penn does the voice-over as Satrapi's Father and Uncle Anouche has the voice of Iggy Pop.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Persepolis is a classic animation film that touches different aspects of life like country, love, loneliness and war. It must be watched for the sheer joy of getting to know Marjane Satrapi. Satrapi has shown courage for telling her story of her childhood and her upbringing. It also tells the story of Iran before revolution and it gives you sheer joy and then grief in seeing a great country having and then losing its freedom of expression.

In a run-time of just 95 minutes, Persepolis encompasses issues of love, loneliness, country and war. It is a beautifully written and animated film.

Review by
-Jay Doshi

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