Movie Information

In Brief: The very unusual and surpringly powerful Oscar-nominated animated biographical film about the extraordinary -- and yet perfectly relatable -- life of an Iranian girl. It's a film that should be seen -- and one that benefits from a second look, as well.
Genre: Fanciful Animated Biopic
Director: Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi
Starring: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Simon Abkarian, Gabrielle Lopes Benites
Rated: PG-13

When the Oscar-nominated animated biographical film Persepolis came out in 2008, I wrote that it was “a rich combination of playfulness and dead seriousness. It is first and foremost a coming-of-age story, but it differs from most by virtue of its setting and approach. However, part of what makes it remarkable is how similar it is to a standard coming-of-age tale. The specifics differ in many cases (how could they not?), but the core of her feelings and experiences addresses the basic universal human experience of growing up. Satrapi is ultimately less an Iranian girl than she’s like any young person anywhere—capable of the same sense of rebelliousness, the same questionings, the same ill-chosen alliances and so on that are part and parcel of just about anyone’s early life. Sure, most of us could never say, ‘I survived a war only to be nearly done in by a banal love affair,’ but we’ve all pretty much lived a similar dynamic at some point.” That still seems a reasonable summation of this rather infrequently revived and perhaps little-thought-of unusual film. The full review is here:

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Persepolis at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 4, at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332,


About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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