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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Persepolis [2008] [DVD]
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on 23 June 2017
Excellent animation, interesting story although a tad too long.
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on 28 June 2017
Very good a must watch
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on 26 June 2017
great birthday present
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on 8 August 2017
Phenomenal film
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on 12 January 2009
Haven't read the comic book it made a great impression, and my wife, who loves the book, also found the film worth seeing. In most ways its a sad story about life in Iran, before, when the Shah ruled, and after, when the Muslim clerics rule, but it is seen through the eyes of a mischievous young girl, who eventually goes abroad, when the repression gets too much even for her parents.

Iran was not a paradise under the Shah, and it is even less so now.

An important document, and a voice that refuses to shut up - well worth any penny you pay for it!
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on 1 February 2009
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.
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VINE VOICEon 29 December 2008
I am glad that I bought this film rather than rented it as I would like to revisit this film from time to time, not just for the storyline but also for the fabulous black and white animation which makes each frame a work fo art.

The film tells the story of the downfall of the Shah and life afterwards from the point of view of a normal though rebellious Iranian girl in a middle class family. At the same time the girl goes through the usual trials and tribulations of any teenager and young woman. You can easily forget this is just an animation and become very involved in the feelings of the girl to the point of tears at times. It is amazing that a cartoon can evoke such feelings.

I like the film from an historical point of view too as I have recently read Shah of Shahs by Ryziard Kapucinski which also details the crimes perpetrated by the Shahs henchmen in the leadup to the overthrow by the fundamentalists. This is a story that needs to be told and the writers and directors here have done an excellent job.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 18 April 2009
This French film about the life of Marjane starts with her sitting in an airport and reminiscing about life up to this point, her journey though life is filled with the natural wonder and humour of a child - but against a backdrop of a radically changing Iran.

This film touches on prejudice and individualism. Sometimes prejudice is a convenient way to ignore the plight of those who need help by dismissing them as different; for them 'it's just part of life', 'they're used to it'. Persepolis faces those prejudices head on and shows that people are people the world over. Teens in Iran have the same hang ups as the teens in the West - personal worries seem to be universal. The film is more to do with the life of an ordinary teenage girl rather than the politics of a fanatically right-wing system of government.

The animation style isn't the most sophisticated - but it is very stylistic, with the past in black and white and the present represented in colour. All the voices seem to be perfect for the role, and together with the visuals you get a strong sense of the family warmth and the unity between those who resist the oppressive regime. Animation also allows the producers of the film to bring some visual humour into the film - especially when Marjane re-assesses her relationship with an ex boyfriend!

In a nutshell: We read so much about the conditions forced upon those in some Middle Eastern countries, but the film allows us to see the reality of how they affect the people under the regime and how repression is used to quash individuality. For that reason Persepolis is a fascinating glimpse into a world we hear a lot about but struggle to understand - this film gives a better idea about life in Iran than all the news documentary footage I've seen because it brings us the human story of everyday people, people we can relate to. This isn't a preachy film, it isn't patronising, and it doesn't feel `too political' - it's an interesting and personal story of a young woman who experiences much the same things as any other girl from anywhere else, but with the addition of having lived under conditions most of us will hopefully never have to.
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on 28 May 2008
Persepolis is a black and white animation about a young Iranian woman's experience of revolution, war and exile, told from a personal, family history perspective. I enjoyed the film very much. It is well narrated and visually warm with excellent execution.

I particularly liked her recollection of her conversations with her uncle, who describes the idealism behind the fall of the Shah. It presents insights of those who loved their country though not theocracy.

This story isn't about the rights and wrongs of this or that movement or version of history. It's an individual story, no more or less grand than anyone else's. But the manner it which it's told, personally through this style of animation, is commendable.
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VINE VOICEon 5 February 2010
"Persepolis" is an animated film and was first released in 2007. It won the Jury Prize at that year's Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated at the Oscars for Best Animated Feature. It's based on Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, and tells the story of Satrapi's own life.

"Persepolis" opens at Orly, one of the main Paris airports, with Marji preparing for her return to Tehran. The prospect of returning is weighing heavily on her and, as she tries to gather herself, she thinks back to her childhood - in the days leading up to the Iranian Revolution.

Marji was just an ordinary 10-year old in 1979. She loved eating French Fries with red sauce, idolized Bruce Lee and had only two dreams : to, one day, shave her legs and to be the last prophet. Naturally, she understood little of the "adult world" - Marji liked the Shah, and believed her teachers when they said he'd been appointed by God. Her parents soon put her straight : they, with good reason, detested the Shah. The current Shah inherited his position from his father - who, in turn, had been appointed by the British, rather than God. Furthermore, her Grandfather (a prince, no less) and her Uncle Anoosh had been imprisoned by one Shah or another and both had been devoted Communists - viewed by both Shahs as something evil. Wide-eyed and deeply impressed, Marji immediately switches sides and becomes a devout revolutionary...well, she adopts Che Guevara as a role model and chants anti-Shah slogans in the living -room. Her parents are careful to confine her when the uprising finally comes - something they're involved in themselves. With the fall of the Shah, life is - for a short spell - like a dream. Old family friends - like Siamak, who had been routinely tortured - and Marji's Uncle Anoosh are released from prison. Like Marji's parents, both are hopeful of a better society. Marji had known nothing of her Uncle before his release from prison but, before long, the pair are devoted to each other. Unfortunately, their hopes prove unfounded. Islamic Fundamentalists win the following elections, and society becomes even more oppressive. Many of the Shah's former enemies - including Anoosh - are hunted down and returned to prison; others, like Siamak, flee. However, Marji and her family stay put...with our young heroine becoming more and more disillusioned. In time, she turns her back on her dreams of being a prophet - instead, she starts listening to Iron Maiden, adds a denim jacket and trainers to her hijab and argues with her teacher when she lies about their wonderful new government. Naturally, her parents are a little concerned that she's speaking up like this...and feel they have to do something to protect her. The path they set her on eventually leads to the confused young woman sitting in Orly Airport.

An absolutely brilliant movie, one that is much more than "just a cartoon". The film was initially released in France, with Chiara Mastroianni (as Marjane) and Catherine Deneuve (as her mother) amongst the voice actors. Both reprised their roles for the English soundtrack, with Sean Penn and Iggy Pop amongst the "big names" coming in. There was something about the artwork that somehow grabbed and held my attention, much more so than the recent CGI masterpieces that have dominated in recent years. It's also inspired me to pick up the "Persepolis" the book - the first graphic novel I've picked up in years.
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