In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah's defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However as Marji grows up, she witnesses first hand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with the young woman finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
At the party given by the Austrian nihilists, the symbol of the famous industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten can be seen on the upper left-hand side of the screen. See more »
Young Marjane talks about torturing someone by making them put garbage in his mouth and making him chew it three times. She demonstrates this by grabbing a bunch of garbage out of a garbage can. In the next shot, when Ramine rides by on his bike, the garbage has vanished. See more »
Ticket and passport, please.
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...in fact, there is nothing average about this film. Traditionally animated in black and white flashbacks, it tells the story of a French-speaking woman's childhood and young adulthood in Tehran, Iran, and in Vienna during the 1980s and '90s.
Marjane Satrapi grew up in a family of revolutionaries against the Shah's regime and the Islamic government that subsequently took hold, and the film literally illustrates her feelings and thought processes as a little girl, following her as the government control in Iran got more and more strict. When her parents insist she leave the country, we also see her struggling to deal with adolescence and missing her beloved family; when she returns, she is also coping with the increasing repression of her freedoms as a woman. Most of all, you see her own personal conflict as she tries to stay true to herself.
This movie beautifully balances both the historic and personal issues and pulls the threads together into a compelling narrative, made a bit quirky by the style of presentation, resulting in work that is altogether touching. Along with intelligence and humor, a deep and strong sense of truth infuses every part of this film, making it even stronger. One of my only qualms was the feeling that it ended somewhat abruptly without much of a conclusion.
Overall, though, it was fantastic - definitely worth watching.
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