Filed Under Film Box 

Persepolis: imdb / trailer

Hey folks, Pip here. Sometimes even living near Hollywoodland doesn’t help when it comes to foreign films as it took all summer for this to reach us all the way from France. When I saw the trailer what seems like ages ago it definitely caught my attention and I wanted to see it really on the principle of it being so stylish (which I later found was the same as the graphic novel it’s based on), but I wasn’t absolutely sure if I’d like it, love it or meh it.

The story follows a great majority of a young girl’s life starting in her home of Tehran. She was born in 1969 which means she grew up in the 70’s, quite an interesting time and place to be a child. Seeing that world through the eyes of a child, and an incredibly whimsical one at that, was something to behold. The people we meet among her family and friends are basically happy and very nurturing.  Her family is incredibly important to her, and they are probably just like the people living in Iran today. Back in the 70’s, Iranians were proud of their country when compared to their neighbors. They were the progressive ones, they were the modern ones. Sure, the shah was a fairly brutal dictator disliked by most Iranians, but by in large people were free and most importantly they wanted more of it. This is probably what Iran would look like today, if it weren’t for those meddling kids! We see the fall of the shah and the hope from everyone that their lives and their country would improve. Knowing the history of the country did not make her transition into teenage years an easy thing to witness. It’s not something that changes overnight. We see one small thing after another be taken away until soon people are afraid to walk down the street. The dialogue that once ran freely among the people was winked out like a flame starved of oxygen.

The young girl sees a lot with her own eyes and feels the frustration from her liberal parents at what is happening all around them. Some of the things she says as a child got the theater laughing pretty hard. It was interesting to watch that sense of humor twist back on to itself transforming into sardonic sarcasm. Many times a film follows the rise and fall of a character, this film certainly has that, but our heroine I think more mirrors her society than anything. This truly is the rise and fall of Iran and it breaks everyone’s heart. Their home was taken out from under them and transformed into what it is now. It’s unfortunate that as of right now, Iran does not have a very happy ending in that things have not much improved. In the end she seems to give up having lived this long and wanting so much more out of life. Perhaps instead she should write some graphic novels after escaping her own home to France, then sell the rights to some really good film makers so that I could sit down somewhere in Hollywood and really love her life story. Honestly, I wouldn’t have changed a thing, no matter how bittersweet the tale really is.

I hope someday we can look back on this whole mess and release a nervous laugh while saying, “Thank God it turned out all right…”


4 Responses to “Purr-Sip-Oh-Liss”

  1. Rachel on January 22nd, 2008 12:06 pm

    Lovely review Pip! And I really enjoyed this film, it give a good little history lesson too. :-)

  2. Dave on January 28th, 2008 1:26 pm

    This is the third favorable review that I have read from respectable film enthusiats. I am really going to have to pick this one up when I can. Thanks for the write up.

  3. anonymous on January 29th, 2008 11:45 pm


  4. Pip on January 30th, 2008 12:47 am

    Hey look! Anon is back and better than ever. So sure of itself that it couldn’t be bothered with standing on its own soapbox! Actually, my title was what the movie greeter was saying it was called, there was much fussing among the ushers. It was pretty funny… I started calling it per-sip-o-lee just to be French because I liked that best. I guess it was my bad for not mentioning that to begin with.

    pÉ™rsÄ•p’É™lÄ­s is from the dictionary… hmm… which means the movie greeter was right about the end!! Only I guess it is more sehp than sip… ah well bugger off.

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