Education Blog

High School Student Critic Review - Persepolis

By Caleb Feinstein, High School Student Critic 06.16.17

The film Persepolis follows the story of Marjane, a girl from Tehran, Iran, as she grows her individuality in the midst of the violence and change of the ongoing Iranian conflicts. Her family, being intertwined with the country's politics, adds to the depth of the film, with viewers able to see the Iranian conflict through the eyes of innocence. Despite the goal of the revolution at first succeeding, the overthrow of the Shaw leads to Fundamentalists taking control, pushing for Islamic conservatism to be enforced more and more. Eventually, Marjane’s outspokenness and deadly political conflicts from the new Iraq and Iran war leads to her parents' decision to send her to Austria. Surrounded by new and different interactions and cultures, she begins to question and solidify her morals and own identity.

Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, this animated adaptation of Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novels utilizes interesting comic-like visuals to enhance the experience. Oftentimes color changes represent different mindsets or periods in Marjane's life and different drawing styles aid in the explanation of different topics. Along with its well-captured experiences of a real child growing in the midst of adult conflict, Persepolis also adds hints of humor with quirky characters with even quirkier personalities. This mix of seriousness and humor creates a story that truly encapsulates the unique perspective Marjane gives her audience in her coming of age.

Caleb Feinstein is a High School Student Critic for the JBFC's Education Department. He attended our screening of Persepolis on Monday, May 29 as part of the JBFC's participation in the Seventh Art Stand, a nationwide collaboration between art house theaters to show films from, by, or about the countries affected by the Muslim ban. Stay tuned for future film reviews from Caleb!