Persepolis (2007, Marjane Satrapi)

Co-directed with Vincent Paronnaud. Tied with Silent Light for the jury prize at Cannes.

Beautifully illustrated and well-animated story, alternately light and heavy, following author/director Marjane’s life from the mid-late 70’s to the mid 90’s. I have to grudgingly admit that the people who say the second half of the film isn’t as good are kinda right, but overall it’s such a wonderful movie, the kind that I wish I could make everybody watch: an artistic movie promoting peace, cross-cultural understanding and individual integrity. I love that the phrase “the price of freedom” is invoked not to justify the loss of lives in a “freedom fighting” war, but as a personal cost, that Marjane’s final flight from Iran to France for the sake of her personal freedom will mean never seeing her grandmother again.

Since I don’t know anything about Iranian history or politics, here’s a timeline combining this movie’s events with stuff from wikipedia and IMDB:

1921 – Qajar Dynasty ends, the “good” Shah is in power
1941 – Shah’s son takes control
1950s- new Shah becomes “increasingly autocratic”
1963 – The House Is Black
1969 – The Cow
1969 – Marjane Satrapi born
1970 – Kiarostami’s first short film
1974 – The Traveler
1977 – The Report
1979 – Shah leaves the country, Iran becomes an Islamic Republic under supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini
1980 – Iraq invades Iran
1984 – Marjane goes to Vienna
1987 – Where Is The Friend’s Home?
1987 – The Cyclist
1988 – Iraq/Iran war ends
1989 – Ayatollah Ali Khamenei becomes supreme leader
1989 – Khameini issues fatwa against Salman Rushdie
1989 – Marjane gets married in Tehran
1990 – Close-Up
1994 – Marjane gets divorced
1995 – The White Balloon”
1997 – Taste of Cherry
1998 – The Apple
1999 – The Wind Will Carry Us
2000 – The Circle
2000 – Persepolis book published
2001 – Kandahar
2002 – Ten
2005 – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is president (still under Khamenei)
2006 – Offside

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