Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Persepolis: A Review

This weekend, I made the journey to the Kendall Square Theater to see Persepolis.
Since Kendall is the only theater in Boston showing the movie right now, it was packed, forcing me to the second row, where I slumped as down low in my seat as I could and craned my neck to watch. Luckily, it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long, long time.

Persepolis, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, tells the story of Marjane Satrapi, a young Iranian woman. Based on the graphic novel written by Satrapi, the film details Marji's coming of age as her country dissolves into revolution and war with Iraq. Marji's story doesn't need lush color or flashy animation--the film is almost entirely in black and white stark graphics, true to the graphic novel format. Though Marji is forced to wear a veil and cannot be seen consorting with men, drinking alcohol, or listening to music, she somehow manages to remain fiercely independent. The film is charged with humor (watch out for the Marji's rousing rendition of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger") and grace, even while people are executed and the country is bombed. I don't know much about Middle Eastern history or culture, and I learned a great deal by just seeing this movie. I highly recommend giving it a watch, even if it means sitting in a crowded theater in a far away neighborhood.

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