EST. 2009

March 20, 2010

That Life in Black and White

FUNNY, SMART, SAD AND POIGNANT, watching Persepolis leaves you wanting to be stronger as a woman, braver as a woman, closer to your family and more appreciative of your liberties.

Written and directed by Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis is a French-language animated film based on the autobiographical graphic novel of the same name, telling of Marjane's life as a young girl and then as a young woman in Iran during the Islamic revolution.

The film takes you through her childhood and early adulthood; through her Bruce Lee phase, her punk phase, her first love, her first heartbreak, her time in a Catholic boarding school in Vienna and her new-found fascination with grocery shopping. It also takes you through her early desire to understand Communist ideology, her exposure to death and destruction, her moments of shame for being Iranian in a foreign land, her homelessness in Vienna and upon returning to her homeland, her clinical depression and recovery.

It's amazing to know about lives well-lived. It's also distressing, guilt-inducing, to place them side-by-side with your own, especially if you've lived a pretty conventional life.

But I guess we all have our own struggles, our own sorrows and moments of joy. What matters is that we live through them. And ultimately, that we learn.

Screenshots from Persepolis, 2007, directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud.

Persepolis comics written and illustrated by Marjane Satrapi.