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T500FC, 479th: Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi, 2007)

February.24.2011

One of the most beautiful life-changing films exists in Persepolis. Never mind if it is in animation. Never mind if it just came from a graphic novel. Never mind if it lost to Ratatouille in the Oscars. What is important is this is an autobiography of one of the directors of this film, Marjane Satrapi. And why is that important? It gives us the her story of what had happened in Iran when it was having a change in scenery and history, and with that, especially for the history lover in me would enjoy the carnage of oppression as well as its sensitive agenda that surely hit somewhere inside my heart.

It starts off with Marjane boarding a plane to Iraq. She then tells story via her childhood on how Iran was. Intertwining her childhood days with what is happening to Iran, it gives us her point of view on the changes in her country especially with the political uprising that greatly affected her young mind. And it, then, shows the change of her people, coming from what used to be sort of free to a more aggressive mood that looked like martial law, but not. More of what we see with the present day Iran.

One word that greatly describes this film is something frail: revolution. It shows the revolution of one country from something that is partly free to a new government that greatly shows domination hindering simple things in life such as alcohol and loud music to the respect for women; as I am in a dilemma right now if I would blame their religion or not.

It was sort of coincidence when I saw this since it was just a day before the silver anniversary of the People Power revolution. With what I’ve written above, it greatly shows that I was affected by such movie. People from her country might say that what I am writing right now is wrong but coming from my point of view, things were greatly different from their side. I’d like to say that what they are doing is right and that is where Persepolis steps in. It conveys her story. A story filled with emotion, mildly adding the childish innuendos along the way, which is what graphic novel usually pursues. It may be comics in form but the message was surely felt along the way and I applaud the director for telling the whole world of her story. Thank you for being brave.

Morality over religion is also one of the Easter eggs in this film. One can simply be shocked with the oppression of women. One can obviously be shocked with the tyranny of a religion that still can be pursued if humanity just came first then such.

I’d like to think that this film changed people. I’d like to show it to a lot of political leaders. And I’d like to show this film to the new generation, remember that instilling this kind of film to the new breed would provide good future not just for us but for their children’s children.

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