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Running Time:
1 hour, 35 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for mature thematic material including violent images, sexual references, language and brief drug content.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A funny, sometimes dark, always moving animated story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl surviving the turbulence of adolescence and a nation in crisis.

Additional Info:
DVD Features:

English Language version of the film featuring the voices of Chiara Mastroianni, Sean Penn, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands and Iggy Pop; "The Hidden Side of Persepolis" - Featurette on the making of the French version; "Behind the Scenes of Persepolis" - The Recording of the English version; Audio Commentary by Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud & Chiara Mastoianni on Select Scenes; Animated Scene Comparisons with Commentary by Marjane Satrapi; 2007 Cannes Film Festival Press Conference Q & A with Cast and Crew



Persepolis
This is an animated coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl named Marjane Strapi who was born in 1969 and suffered through her adolescence at the same time that her country was struggling through an astonishing revolution. It is based on the graphic novel she wrote about her experiences and the animation is mostly in black-and-white and the film is almost entirely in French. It is named for the ancient capital of Persia.

It begins in Tehran in 1978, where young Marji (voiced by Gabrielle Lopes) lives with her parents. She's a spunky, precocious, adventurous young girl who looks forward to shaving her legs and whose interests are Bruce Lee and Adidas. At the same time she hears tales of political prisoners and government torture, and finds her parents to be part of the rising tide of people who oppose the Shah, a cruel dictator who has modernized Iran but cruelly quashed all dissent. The Shah is forced out, but the new government isn't much better. Suddenly in this new Islamic Republic, women must wear head scarves in public and because Western culture is "evil," she is forced to buy rock 'n' roll cassettes from men on the street who sell them as if they were drugs. Her parents (Simon Abkarian and Catherine Deneuve) admire her independence and tenacity and her wise old grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) tell tales of the old days, when she and her sweetheart could walk down the street hand in hand. Now women are vilified and oppressed, while men can do more or less whatever they please.

Marji's outspokenness constantly keeps getting her into trouble, so when her uncle is killed in the Iran/Iraq war, her parents send her to Vienna, where she can study in safety. The only trouble is that her Middle Eastern appearance frightens people, giving her a harsh lesson in racial prejudice. Now a teenager, Marji begins hanging out with the rebellious youth of the city. They call themselves anarchists, but of course they're just high school kids wearing Goth makeup. She eventually goes back to Iran to be closer to her family and goes to an Iranian art school, where the models are covered in robes. But her grandmother gives her the best lessons of all, teaching her to always be independent. This bittersweet coming-of age story is an exhilarating reminder of what animation can do so well. It also makes you glad to be alive.






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