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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Persepolis (2007)

Set in Iran, a young girl (Chiara Mastroianni) comes of age during the Islamic revolution of the late 1970s which saw the deposing of the corrupt Shah's western backed regime and the rise of the repressive Islamic fundamentalist government. Frustrated by the oppression of the new administration, her mother (Catherine Deneuve) and father (Simon Abkarian in the French version, Sean Penn in the English) send her to A French school in Vienna. Co-winner of the Jury prize at the 2007 Cannes film festival, this is a wonderful film. Based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, instead of giving it the live action treatment, we're treated to a stark B&W (the contemporary sequences are in color) animated film that takes us into an insider's look at how it was living as a rather liberal family in a tyrannical country where even holding hands can get you picked up by the police. But beyond that, it works as an examination of a young girl in a country (Austria) that continually reminds her she's an outsider and a struggle to retain her identity. Directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. With Danielle Darrieux as the grandmother in the French version and Gena Rowlands in the American. Deneuve and Mastroianni are the only two actors who play in both versions.

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