Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (PG-13)
An animated tale of an Iranian girl who comes of age during the Islamic Revolution.
In the ever-evolving world of animation, Persepolis is a “true original,” said Christy Lemire in the Associated Press. “Full of fascinating contradictions,” the inventive film uses comic-strip characters to tell a rather sophisticated adult story. First-time filmmaker Marjane Satrapi adapted her autobiographical illustrated novels with the help of best friend and artist Vincent Paronnaud. Persepolis follows Satrapi, a precocious, middle-class Iranian girl, as she witnesses the shah’s final days and watches her communist relatives hauled off to prison. Satrapi finds herself stuck between two worlds and struggling to find her identity. Just as the novels read as if they jumped right from Satrapi’s head to the page, Persepolis seamlessly survives the transfer from page to the screen, said David Edelstein in New York. The elementary black-and-white drawings may look as if they belong in a children’s book, but they provide “enough detail to capture the characters’ emotions but not enough to jar you when they leap into expressionism.” Whittling down these complex situations to seemingly simple black-and-white was a major artistic achievement, said Carino Chocano in the Los Angeles Times. A conventional story set on an unconventional stage, Persepolis is a “paean to the universality of human experience, a testament to the endurance of individuality” during social and political unrest.