Based on the graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi "Persepolis" is the coming of age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution.from£5.49 | RRP:
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Animated film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's bestselling autobiographical graphic novel set during the Islamic revolution in Iran. When the despotic Shah is overthrown in 1979, Marjane (voice of Chiara Mastroianni) and her family look forward to a new dawn in their beleaguered country. As she grows up, however, Marjane realises that the new fundamentalist rulers are just as brutal as their predecessors. Worried at her inability to stay silent where injustice is concerned, her parents send Marjane to Austria to study for a better life. Alone in a strange land, Marjane encounters suspicion and prejudice but gradually comes to be accepted. When high school is over, though, she finds herself feeling terribly homesick and makes the decision to return to her family in the increasingly repressive Iran...
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play Based upon the graphic novels of Marjane Satrapi Persepolis is the biographical story following the poignant and often hilarious adventures of Marji From a rebellious heavy metal loving tomboy experiencing the turmoil of adolescence during the tyrannical Iranian revolution to a teenage exile in Vienna Austria where she discovers the benefits of freedom can be just as shocking as the repressive regime she was forced to leave behind Returning to Iran as an alienated adult Marji must now decide where it is her heart and her home must lay in this complex insightful honest and touching story making Persepolis one of the most sublime animated feature films you’re likely to experience
Average Rating for Persepolis  - 2 out of 5
(based on 1 user reviews)
Persepolis Kashif Ahmed
Visually impressive, though historically inept adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical, critically acclaimed graphic novel 'Persepolis: The Story of Childhood'. Now there's a lot to like in this spirited, often humorous sometimes deadly serious account of a young Iranian girl growing up amidst political turmoil, opting for semi-exile / study leave, almost getting herself killed in Europe yet managing to summarise her experiences with the eloquent observation: "I had known a revolution that had made me lose part of my family. I had survived a war that had distanced me from my country and my parents, and it's a banal story of love that almost carried me away". And yet there's one major omission, an oversight so glaringly obvious and unbelievable that even Satrapi's most ardent supporters may have to cite the hand of occidental censorship in its exclusion or, worse still, begin to wrongly question her motives or the fact that this movie was fast-tracked into production at a time when our corporate media is portraying Iran & Muslim culture in a less than favourable light. It's that one name that goes unmentioned which pretty much ruins this film's credibility for me, and that name is Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh. To tell a story about Iranian politics and not include her greatest, democratically elected leader (deposed in a deadly terror campaign instigated as part of the CIA-Mossad-M16 coup d'etat 'Operation Ajax') is like reciting 'The Iliad' and ignoring all references to Hector. 'Persepolis' begins in 1980 with populist revolution culminating in the dramatic fall of Anglo-American-Israeli appointed dictator Shah Reza Pahlavi II. We're soon introduced to Marji's endearing, politically conscious, predominantly Communist family; who express a mixture of ambivalence and hope for the new, ultra-orthodox Islamic theocracy led by Ayatollah Khomeini. Meanwhile Marji, ever the outspoken rebel, makes her stance against having to wear the veil under new laws and its here that the film makes a narrative detour with historical references to how Stalinist and British interference caused irreparable rifts within Iran's socialist party circa 1920, in much the same way as it shattered anti-Franco resistance fighters in Spain a decade later. These conversations become relevant as the film progresses, though they'll be lost on those who won't see the correlation with the plot against Mossadegh; where Iranians were factionalised into monarchists (supporters of The Shah and pro imperial plutocrats) and Islamic Socialists (supporters of Mossadegh and Ayatollah Kashani) just as were thirty years earlier. And I liked the scene in which Marji's uncle informs us of how a Stalinized left wing were duped into siding with Reza Pahlavi I (father of the Shah deposed in 1979) who was secretly in cahoots with 'The British Empire'; his deception allowing an imperial army to march into Iran in 1921, steal her oil reserves and install Pahlavi as dictator. I found the Iran-Iraq war chapter ill conceived and lacking in detail or context, thus what should've been an intense and dramatic event came across as vague and no where near as devastating as it must've been in reality, again, an absence of context leaves those without extensive prior knowledge completely confused. Marji's exasperated claim that the hard-line Islamic theocracy holds more political prisoners than the Shah, is also slightly disingenuous considering 'Persepolis' bizarrely seems to forget that in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. backed destruction of Iranian democracy in 1953, Mossad terrorists poured into the country via U.S. occupied Azerbaijan; to train a brutal new legion of Shah loyalists who would form the dreaded Savak (Iranian secret police). As The Shah, in his own words: "...restored the flow of Iranian oil to world markets in substantial quantities". I would've forgiven 'Persepolis' its occasional naivety or political posturing had it just referenced one paragraph from Weissman & Mokhiber's 'We Had a Democracy Once, But You Crushed It': "During the Islamic revolution in 1979, Iranians held up Mossadegh's picture, telling the world: we want a democratic regime that resists foreign influence and respects the will of the Iranian people as expressed through democratic institutions". At least that would've framed her story in some kind of rational context, because as it is, 'Persepolis' is all over the place and invites ridicule or even unsubstantiated claims that the writer is some kind of shill, or anti-Iranian propagandist, which is unfortunate, because Marjane Satrapi (the writer and her animated incarnation) is an immensely likeable, sweetly annoying, figure and we're with her all the way: from precocious little girl to surly teenager to troubled twenty something; from freedom, to repression and back again, in both Asia and Europe. 'Persepolis' can be quite a frustrating film at times, especially since Marjane Satrapi knows her history, after all, she states in no uncertain terms: "...the end of democracy was not 1979, it was 1953 when Mossadegh was pulled from power...the idea came from Churchill, who is a big hero in Europe; but not for us, he is the nastiest man in the world...for that (coup d'etat) killed the dream of democracy, not only in Iran, but for the whole region". Alas, none of those sentiments are expressed on screen. 'Persepolis' and its creators mean well and I doubt there's any malice in its making, though that one serious error means it goes from groundbreaking humanist chronicle to a watchable but interesting failure, from I-ran to Also-ran if you will. But now that we know this kind of film can work on screen, though I"m not entirely convinced animation can accurately cover all the bases in as greater detail as live action, perhaps its time to adapt comics like Stassen's 'Deogratias' or Joe Sacco's excellent graphic reportage 'Palestine', 'The Fixer' and 'Safe Area Gorazde'.
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