La liberté a toujours un prix.
How often does a cartoon bring you to tears? Bambi's mother is nothing to what we have here, and, after all, this is actually about real life rather than pure fiction ...
Why should I call a film beautiful when it is heartbreaking, mostly matching the situations to black and heavy greys, with only occasional bursts of colour? This film is superb.
Religious fundamentalism, social oppression and brutality ... worldwide phenomena, from mid-west USA, to Saudi Arabia, in Robespierre's Terror, through the back streets of our own nation, even in Hindu India; throughout our history - and here, of course, in Iran. Marjane Satrapi has done an almost indescribably excellent piece of work in displaying the lot. She does not even make the idiot bigots especially evil: they may act nastily, but somehow you can see that they too are human; they also are victims of mis-directed ideology. And Marjane's grandmother is glorious. Vive la Liberté.
The pace and force of this film's presentation are almost beyond praise.
I must remark that the introductory sections with credits, selection for language, subtitles and so on, are pretty ... but out of tune with what is to follow and strangely annoying to navigate. Perhaps that emphasises the strengths of the film itself! Do choose the French language version - with Danielle Darrieux and Catherine Deneuve speaking who would not? English subtitles if you need them, but the English dubbing is muddy, almost harder to follow, and less accurate than the French - even if your hold on spoken French, like mine, is a bit shaky.
Some of my prejudices are strongly vindicated ... "English" dubbing is usually pretty awful; there is a great strength to be had from clean use of black and white, escaping the distractions of colour, wide screens and so on. A truly great film. Here we have at once universal truths, a particular semi-autobiography, and an examination of Iran in travail.