Persepolis is a film about an Iranian girl, trying to find her own identity. From the time she was nine, she was already having multiple identities, some that conflicted with others. Her struggle followed her through the years as she grew older, left her home country, returned, and then left once more permanently. Persepolis opens up with Marjane Satrapi looking back to her youth at the age of nine, living in Tehran, Iran with her parents in the year 1978. At this time, the country was under the Iranian revolution where the Iranian people wanted to overthrow the monarchy. This happened under the Shah, Mohammad Reza and then was replaced by the Islamic Fundamentalist government. The nation was under chaos, where there were murders, protests, tortures, and innocent people sent to jail. The film is in black and white and is animated, but not into a cartoon. I think this sets the tone of the movie. It makes it very abstract and hence, easy for people from all over the world to relate. They do not see specific landmarks. They see a town like any other, which could even be anyone’s hometown. Marjane’s autobiography tells us that she was having trouble developing self-identity, and that she could not find her place both physically, and within herself. There are many external pressures that affect Marjane and that confuse her identities. In the very beginning, when she was very young, she supported the Shah, because that is what was being taught in school. Her parents decided to tell her the realities of the country, and as a result, she decided to be against the Shah. We see here that the external pressures of society, and more closely, the people she looked up, her teacher and her parents, confuse Marjane to the point where she is on both sides of the political spectrum that the country is experiencing. I think that it had to be hard for a nine year old to understand the reality of what was going on in the country and so she was being influenced the...
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