2019 Film Reviews – 52: Persepolis [dir. Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi; 2007]

Using high-contrast, non-photo-real, black-and-white animation to tell the story of a young woman growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution may not seem like an obvious artistic choice to make, and yet it works. Beautifully. With charm, wit and a commendable refusal to allow even the most horrific events to be presented sentimentally, Paronnaud and Satrapi’s episodic tale (based on the latter’s superb graphic novel) skips from one incident to another to construct what must surely be one of the most comprehensive and affecting pictures of modern Iran, and of the people who have made the agonising decision to leave the country. A unique film that just seems to improve with time.

Dariush

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