Persepolis (2007) – Enjoy the Silence

Marjane Satrapi’s and Vincent Paronnaud’s “Persepolis” is an autobiography, a rare format used in Hollywood at all. However, in this era, this format has become more relevant. It’s different from autobiography in general. Based on a graphic novel written by Satrapi herself, this novel talks about being grown up from the author itself in Iran. We are looking from the perspective of the proletariat during the Islamic revolution. They are mostly left-wing groups in fighting for the Iranian revolution in expelling communist ideology and outsiders. Marjane was grown in an open-minded but nationalist family. They strongly opposed the dictatorship of the Iranian Shah regime at the time.

They disagree with the strict religious ideology where the majority of revolutionary supporters use it. Self internalization at Satrapi takes place in her family. As innocent girls in general, she knows nothing. Her father was a figure who strongly opposed this Shah’s Regime. Her grandfather and uncle whom revolutionary fighters were always in and out of prison. Finally, many of her family died. After the revolution succeeded in overthrowing the Shah’s regime, a new problem arose in the middle. After revolutionary fighters thought this was over, many of them were always intimidated by the government. In particular, the government also oppresses women more.

The causes of the emergence of these matters include the struggle for power and former supporters of the revolution who still don’t accept it. This gave rise to a coercive and oppressive ideology. In the history of the Islamic revolution, this ideology was named Wilayatul Faqih. With this ideology, the Iranian must live their daily lives based on Islamic law. All that goes back to the government itself and only the leader holds tightly to this rule singly. Freedom doesn’t exist, more than in recent wars. Horizontal instability, very anti against American culture and others, and strict rules on women’s clothing.

“Persepolis” is a French-produced animated film from the adaptation of a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. This film received great attention from critics, especially on artistic and political nuances from the perspective of an author himself. As if, this film itself is an emotional battle cry from Satrapi in criticizing the Iranian government there. She was upset about the treatment of other people and state officials. The shock of this Iranian government we see it from the Satrapi point of view. Background to war and political intrigue from the ruling regime is a very interesting theme. Not that this is a serious film as well. Instead, Satrapi ventured her emotions by sarcasm through dark comedy dialogues but so ironic.

“She is homesick for a nation that no longer exists.” Roger Ebert said. Satrapi is a liberal who considers the rules in the country she lives was a rejection from her. There are so many moral police that makes a Satrapi scream according to her heart. She could just listen to Iron Maiden or be proud of American punk culture. However, it doesn’t mean that she is wrong but she cannot move according to her conscience because of the apparatus. Indeed, enacting rules that hold the religious law itself, especially Islam, tends to favor the other side. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean the movement of their people should be limited. Human lust itself has been ruined by this moral whether the rules they apply are what they are. The reality is not.

Unlike the animation in general, “Persepolis” is a weird movie. Apart from seeing the cynical view of Satrapi as a Muslim woman, this film portrays it simply but solidly. It’s really cool because of the dark shades between the black-and-white flashback and the current event colorful of the story. The black-and-white animation depicts Satrapi’s past when she lived in Iran. The whole film tells the life of Satrapi from the past. This approach that’s dark and full of bad luck is what makes Satrapi’s life never comfortable. Speaking politic and dramatizing one’s life, this film takes it very interesting but artistic.

“Persepolis” is like a universal expression as an expression by the filmmaker and an artistic narrative. This animated film is a unique and special achievement. It tells you how many great yet unique style. It’s more interesting than any modern coming-of-age movie in general. This film shouts something where we are always wrong in looking at it; regardless it depends on the perceptions of each person. This film chants about women who’ve grown up in opposing pressure.

4.5 out of 5 stars.