Coming of Age in Iran: Persepolis



Directed By: Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud

Grade: B+

Persepolis was my Blind Spot pick for May. (Five months in and sticking with it!) I actually do remember reading Persepolis in college. The story is about Satrapi’s youth during and after the Islamic Revolution.

Marjane in Persepolis

The film is very moving of course. It’s most powerful points however might be in the very beginning as things change so quickly that young Marjane can’t even keep up with it really and what feels like salvation turns into a nightmare in which she loses a beloved family member.

The other highly emotional part is when she’s sent away to Europe full of people who, as she puts it later, don’t care if a stranger dies in the streets.

The Birth of Venus Persepolis

As she gets older we see some forms of rebellion within Iran- music being sold in the streets, parties and such though we also see the downside. Those parties being raided. Marjane happily making a truly questionable call to save herself. Her grandmother throughout is a voice of reason never letting her forget what’s at stake.

I wasn’t big on Marjane’s parents (though I did understand them) but I really loved Grandma. Even if she was a wisdom comes with age kind of character.

The voice work by Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve and Danielle Darrieux was fine and the film was lovely in places. Though the black and white format worked well with the novel if I remember. I just don’t feel like it had the emotional impact or that I could really connect with it overall and I say that as someone whose always been fascinated with Iran.

fighting the revolution

I can’t quiet put my finger on why I didn’t connect either. If you’re interested in a coming of age story during the Islamic Revolution (and after) this is a good place to start. Maybe it was that I’m a little too familiar with the story?

Recommend: Yes. Despite my not connecting with the movie- the story is a good one worth seeing or reading in my opinion.

6 thoughts on “Coming of Age in Iran: Persepolis

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  1. Sounds quite interesting tbh. I tend to fall for coming of age stories a lot. All that innocent and nostalgia of long lost childhood…
    Clarification though – even the character didn’t feel that way, I am European and I honestly do care what happens to people on streets… 😊😂

  2. Oh I totally agree! She had a very hard time of it the first time she was in Europe and probably because she was very young and they wanted her out of Iran she was not left with the best people or a very good situation 🙂

    1. It must have been extremely hard. I sometimes take so many things for granted. Sounds honestly very interesting!

  3. I absolutely loved the book but I like to take my time with graphic novels, so when I watched (part of) the film I felt like it all went a bit too fast.

  4. That’s an excellent point actually. I need to read the novel again but I remember it being one worth lingering over and the movie felt a bit too condensed. Thanks!

  5. Persepolis is such a great movie. I’ve also read the original graphic novels, too. I really enjoyed this one, but I understand if you thought it was only good instead of outstanding.

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