Imagine living in a country where it is illegal to watch movies, listen to music, or even play cards. To this day, there are still billions of people who live in these types of totalitarian countries. This movie focuses on one of these countries in particular, Iran, an Islamic-fascist state home to 75 million people, and the plight of a young woman named Marjane Satrapi who tries to escape this political oppression. In this movie, Marjane tries to reconcile her national identity with her desire to live in a free society, and this causes conflict within her family and her newly found European friends. The movie Persepolis brilliantly illustrates the cultural and personal struggles that millions of immigrants go through when they flee a religious theocracy in search for freedom.
In a totalitarian state, all forms of free expression are suppressed. In Iran’s case, the acculturating free culture from the westernized, secular world poses a threat to the religious laws that are used by Iran’s government to control the people. For example, any sense of fashion is considered sinful and is therefore illegal. “They're selling tapes on Gandhi Avenue.” Popular mainstream music like Michael Jackson and the Bee Gees must be sold on the black market in the streets. This is a personal struggle for any unfortunate member of such a society because they risk their freedom every time they dare to rock out to Iron Maiden.
In a fundamental-religious theocracy such as Iran, women are not exactly treated with respect. This society uses religious propaganda such as “the veil stands for freedom” to brainwash women into subservience. And if a woman dares to show a single strand of hair in public, a man will “screw women like you and dump them in the trash.” This degree of religious fundamentalism treats women like trophies; that pious men will be rewarded in heaven with “food, women, gold houses and diamonds!” This level of misogyny is disgusting because it is... [continues]
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