It also is a deeply affecting tale of the power of resilience and an unflagging sense of humor through the worst of situations. Based on Marjane Satrapi's fascinating memoirs (in graphic-novel form), this lyrical animated film for adult audiences powerfully proves the wide range of the medium in its capacity for distinctive and moving storytelling.
Told stylishly and eloquently, Persepolis is a coming-of-age tale of a plucky and precocious Iranian girl during the Islamic revolution of 1979. Think Juno in a burqa. It also is perhaps the year's best literary adaptation, thanks largely to the fact that Satrapi wrote and co-directed the movie. Her wry voice pervades this poignant tale, and her distinctive drawings are vividly brought to life, in a film that manages to find humor (as well as pathos) in chilling and horrific situations.
By using Survivor's anthemic Eye of the Tiger to accompany scenes of a young woman's quest for freedom from an oppressive regime, she is mocking formulaic filmmaking and still embracing honest emotion. There is both a sardonic and jubilant quality in those scenes that perfectly convey the complex intelligence of Satrapi's narrative.
The graphic novel upon which it's based is reminiscent of Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer-winning Maus, which also potently illustrated the political through a very personal tale. It's a brilliant way of informing mass audiences about politics and sociocultural issues, making the history lesson that much more eye-opening
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