Persepolis (2007)

Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Plot: Poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution.

Genre: Animation/Comedy/Drama
Awards: Nom. for 1 Oscar - best animated feature. Nom. for Golden Palm (Cannes Film Festival)
Runtime: 95min
Rating: PG for mature thematic material including violent images, sexual references, language and brief drug content.

The final contender and also the most unique of this year's Oscar Best Animated Feature nominees, Persepolis joins Ratatouille, and Surf's Up in a strong triangular war for the coveted award. Persepolis is a French film that dissects the history and culture of Iran of the last century through mostly black-and-white, comic book styled animation. While not as eye-popping, and highly realistic as that of Ratatouille, Persepolis' animation is conjured up of indelible two-dimensional-like images that tell the story in the most simplistic, artistic fashion possible.

The story tells of a young Iranian girl, Marjane, who grows up in conservative Iran. A political liberal, an advocate of freedom, and very outspoken, Marjane is the epitome of the modern Iranian woman who’s restrained and bound by the rules that are exclusive to Iranian politics. We witness the transformation of Iran through decades of war and dictatorship. And when she migrates to Europe to further her studies, we observe the discrimination of the Iranian race by the Westerners, and how she copes and adapts to the changing Western world.

There is more than meets the eye.
Persepolis is a 'message' film about hope and not forgetting your roots. It does so much in just a little over ninety minutes. Apart from its insightful content, Persepolis' emotional core is strong. Some scenes will leave viewers teary-eyed, while others induce rage and fury toward the Iranian government for their ruthless mistreatment of its people. Persepolis is 2007's best animated feature; it is in-depth, historical, truthful, and gives us hope for a better future. While Ratatouille is sure to bag the Oscar, it would really mean something if the Academy decides to honor this little foreign animated gem.




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