Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Persepolis - A Look Into The Culture of Iran, Animation Style

Animation is a medium used to tell a story. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this elsewhere on my blog.
Americans seem to have put this stigma on animation that it's only for children's entertainment. That's very limited thinking for a medium that is endless when it comes to creating imagery with movement.
Persepolis is an autobiographical, Academy Award nominated film based off of the graphic novel series that uses animation to tell it's story.
90 percent of the film is in black and white and told in flashback with narration, emulating the style in the graphic novel, but never becoming an audio book.
The film, and it's graphic novel, centers on the life of author and artist Marjane Satrapi and her experiences in and out of Iran. I understand that upon it's initial release, Persepolis was quite controversial. I don't really understand though. Iran is a country that I only know about through images of war and women in black veils. Persepolis humanizes the people of Iran and helped widen my view of the world in general.
The movie is so personal that it almost feels like a treat. It's quirky animation style is very striking and inviting. Never alienating the audience, the film really opens up the viewer to relate to our main character and her struggles in a war torn country and later on outside into the world. She meets many, MANY people and has many, MANY adventures. With all of this going on, the film keeps a steady pace and never loses it's focus.
I hope that Persepolis shows more audiences not only the humanity in the Iranian People, but also the reality that could be found in animated features.

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