30 November 2007
Persepolis You (yeah, you) gotta see this movie, a rare gem. Check out the the official website to get an idea later of its powerful "stylized realism", but of course don't read the details until you see it ;). Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, drawn from her graphic novel, is not to be confused with the ancient city, far away from Teheran (where most of the action takes place) or with the eponymous soccer club. But i digress: the movie describes Marjane's childhood in Iran during and after the "Islamic" revolution. I put quotes around Islamic here cuz I still need to be explained what growing beards and veils have to do with the essence of Islam. Anyway, the movie doesn't dwell on such trivial issues. It is just riotously funny and suffused with deep sadness (sometimes at the same instant.. it's a total shock). Both sad and happy parts end up touching something universal in the human condition. Even the scenes where she hits rock bottom depression are funny. I have never seen anything quite like that on a movie screen. Strangely, i had to see it in German, even though it was part of Leipzig's French film festival (typisch Leipzig..). But past the initial surprise (and yes, a bit of grumbling) i actually enjoyed even the German voices, especially when Marjane goes to Vienna. The Austrian accents are just to die for, i am sure something gets lost in the original French version. Now here is a question to all women; after a breakup, especially when young, do you really darken and destroy the memories of you former flame? He suddenly becomes a dumb ugly foul. I thought that was just another funny eccentricity of Marjane, but at least one female friends confirmed that this is just like that in all females of our species. Wow. That's a shock. I don't know about you guys, but I just can't see former flames in a dark way, there is always this longing. Finally, one of the greatest thing about the film is to remind us of our "integrity". Sometimes we do stupid and/or bad things without thinking, hurting people in the process. But the grandmother is there to remind Marjane to be watchful for those tendencies. Remember where you come from, whether it be Iran, or just our own childhood which too often we forget as we evolve through life.