Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(France, 2007)

Every once in a while you see a movie that’s not like anything you’ve seen before. It can be so different, in fact, that at first you don’t know how to react, your eyes and your mind have to adjust. It was that way for me with ::Persepolis}}, for the first ten minutes or so, and then I realized I was seeing something special and beautiful.

It is based on a series of autobiographical graphic novels (which I ordinarily hate) by Marjane Satrapi, but this is light-years from that swill about the 300 Spartans or Sin City violence and pathetic fanboy penis-envy fantasy. Too bad it came out the same year as Ratatouille; nothing was going beat that one for the Oscar. And I loved that film, but I have to say that I think this is the one that may endure, 50 years from now. She tells the story of her childhood in Iran during the fall of the Shah and the Iran-Iraq War, a bloodbath that settled nothing but killed millions. She was shipped off to Austria, and later went to France. She’s had an interesting life, and now feels herself to be between two worlds, and not a true citizen of either. The film shows this with great compassion and wisdom. It is in black and white, but the compositions are stunning shades of gray. How interesting to see a simple story, plainly told with no visual fireworks but with amazing artistry, in this age of CGI frenetic 3D action. Go see this one.