Persepolis is a 2007 French-Iranian adult animated biographical film that follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution.
Co-director Marjane Satrapi based the film on her four-volume series of graphic novels, grounded largely in her own experience growing up in 1970s and 80s Iran. Marjane, a rebellious, independent child is brought up by her intelligent, loving parents, with frequent visits from her wise, feisty grandmother. The family is hopeful that the end of the Shah's reign will bring new freedoms and prosperity, but the religious crack down and war with neighbouring Iraq show they couldn't be more wrong. Marjane continues to be outspoken, and much humour comes from her attempts to question the dogma of the new regime, until her parents feel that she would be safer if they send her overseas.
Smart and sassy as its heroine, the film is enjoyably full of pop culture references, but doesn't shrink from showing the serious consequences of totalitarianism. The choice mostly to stick with the drawn black and white style of the source material is highly effective, and the well-chosen voice cast breathes life and depth into Marjane and those around her
Winner - Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival
Post film discussion with Producer, Filmmaker and Founder of the Dublin Feminist Film Festival Karla Healion.
"Persepolis is one of those very rare adaptations. I read, and loved, the book and a couple of years later found that I adored the film version just as much. This is, I have no doubt, down to the fact that both are the creative brainchild of writer, graphic novelist and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi . She opened my world to so many things, broadening my horizons and managing the holy grail of filmmaking, to create something that is at once informative and thoroughly entertaining. It is a subtle but deep piece of work, it is enjoyable and gut wrenching, it's historical but totally fresh, it is a black and white animation and yet is bursting with life, gripping but fun. It's feminist and it's human and it's wonderful. I don't know how Satrapi did it, but I'm glad she did." - Karla Healion
‘Persepolis gives us the sheer pleasure of narrative, rarely found in modern cinema or indeed fiction: a gripping story of what it is like to grow from a lonely imaginative child into an adult, and to find this internal tumult matched by geo-political upheaval.’Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian
‘It ambitiously operates on multiple levels, switching seamlessly between them and sometimes overlapping, and succeeds on all of them - as a touching coming-of-age tale, a pointed political satire and a feminist fable, as a serious-minded drama and an uproariously funny comedy.’Michael Dwyer - The Irish Times