Running Time: 92 mins
Rated: Rated M (adult themes and coarse language)
Persepolis is animation with a difference. As with a number of French animated films, this one is for adults rather than children. It is based on a series of comics or graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi and they translate vividly to the screen, most of them in strong, even heavy, black and white with some excursions into colour.
Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran and her early years were spent in the era of the Shah. In those days, living was rather easy and comfortable in Tehran, although several of her relatives were imprisoned for their left-wing views. Then came the Islamic Revolution and the tightening of controls and strictness is behaviour, dress codes, education, especially for women. Her parents send Marjane to Europe and she spends some time, working, poor, on the street, caught up with the rebel culture and falling in love but betrayed. She returns to Iran and lives through the restrictions of more recent years with her parents and her wise grandmother. But Marjane needs more space and freedom and she leaves.
Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni (Catherine Deneuve's daughter) voice mother and daughter in both the French version and the American-dubbed version. (Sean Penn and Gena Rowlands also feature in the American version.)
The film won many awards including the Jury award in Cannes 2007 eliciting protests from the Iranian authorities.
Sony Pictures Out August 21
Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.