Last night Jeannie and I saw Persepolis, the movie based on the autobiographical graphic novels of the same name. The series and the film describe Marjane Satrapi’s childhood (and troubled adulthood) in Iran after the revolution.

This is a beautiful film. As I have not yet established any credibility as a film critic on this blog, the New York Times review is here, including an interview with Satrapi. It has a wonderful line about the arrival of the author’s parents on the set.

When my parents came to the studio, nobody breathed. Imagine you are drawing Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and suddenly a big mouse and a big duck walk in.

I’m inspired to read more about Iranian history. I really enjoyed All the Shah’s Men by Stephen Kinzer and Shah of Shahs by my favorite author, Ryszard Kapuscinski. I would welcome other recommendations.

What strikes me most about the revolution is the short-sightedness of American foreign policy. A focus on the immediate national interest rather than a long run view seems to have generated the very threat and concern we face today. And now here we go again…

A film trailer is below.

2 thoughts on “Persepolis

  1. The Shia Revival isn’t exactly Iranian history, but it does shed some light on the current situation in the Middle East by contextualizing it.