Thursday, 23 March 2017

Film Review | France | Persepolis

The film Persepolis follows the story of the director, Marjane Satrapi, as she travels from Iran to Europe in what can only be described as a difficult childhood filled with political change, cultural change and personal battles. The initial worldwide release of this film was met with positive reviews, even holding a 96% rating on rotten tomatoes, which is no easy task in this day and age that allows anyone's opinion to be published and taken into account.

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Persepolis

Although the film does feature story telling based in Iran, it is at its heart a French animation, with a French cast and large heritage rooted in France. As a country, France does have a fairly large backlog of animated films but this one stands out amongst the rest due to its autobiographical style and almost edgy approach to the art style, often feeling extremely graphical (due to its graphic novel roots) and handmade whilst still maintaining its clean cut finish.

Fig 2: Screenshot, Persepolis

As an artist, Satrapi's work is mostly alive in a more illustrative style, boasting an impressive catalogue of previous books and graphic novels that also feature the same style of drawing that is apparent throughout Persepolis. As this film is autobiographical, Satrapi's art style choices could be seen as a direct reflection of how she feels about the life she has led, often adding trivial moments to the piece, potentially suggesting that the creator has a mature outlook on the events that have taken place in her life.

Fig 3: Screenshot, Persepolis

The film itself details the creators travel from Iran to France as political changes occur in her home country, forcing her to grow up as a rebellious teenager away from home and the comforts of her family, which as you can imagine has had lasting effects on the filmmaker and shaped the person she is today. It seems that what the film is attempting to convey to the audience is this idea of change and personal development even in times of internal stress and external trauma, the notion that good people can still remain good people and develop even in troubled times.

In terms of delivering a message within a narrative and getting a message across to an audience, Satrapi's 2007 film Persepolis most definitely achieves its goals, as viewers are left with a real sense of personal change and character development.  

Illustration List

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Persepolis,, Accessed on: 23.03.17 

Fig 2: Screenshot, Persepolis,, Accessed on: 23.03.17 

Fig 3: Screenshot, Persepolis,, Accessed on: 23.03.17 

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