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Persepolis & Marjane Satrapi

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by

Micah Johnson

on 6 November 2012

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Transcript of Persepolis & Marjane Satrapi

Questions Director: Marjane Satrapi Born November 22, 1969 in Rasht, Iran Author, graphic novelist, director, and illustrator Parents were involved with political groups responsible for the 1979 Iranian Revolution In 1983, sent to Austria where she attended the Lycée Français de Vienne Greatest inspiration: Art Spiegelman First graphic novels: Persepolis & Persepolis 2 Other works: Embroideries Chicken with Plums Monsters Are Afraid of the Moon The Iranian Revolution Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Western policies and strong affiliations with western
powers, (United States)

The Shah's rejection of Islamic traditions

Economic crisis

Political corruption and negligence

Human rights abuse August 1953: Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi has popular Prime Minister Mohammed Mossaddegh removed by the CIA January 1963: Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi proposes the "White Revolution" , Khomeini rises to political prominence June 1963: Mass demonstrations against Khomeini's arrest lead to violent protests and killings October 1977: The death of Khomeini's son spark major demonstrations in cities across Iran November 1978: Black Friday occurs, crippling the Iranian industry December 1978: Muharram protests occur demanding the removal of the Shah January 1979: The Shah leaves Iran April 1979: An Islamic Republic is established Visual Styles "Stylized Realism" Based off of German Expressionism and Italian Neo-Realism Creatively employed techniques such as lighting and camera angles to accentuate certain powerful emotions German Expressionism Highly stylized sets with a high contrasted and simple edited visual styles Italian Neo-Realism Centers around economic hardships and moral situations Graphic Novel Style Simplistic animation and features (i.e. oval faces and minimalistic in design) Black-and-white color Focus on emotions and plot more than action Reception Very well-liked by critics even though it was considered a box office failure #6 in Time magazine’s Richard Corliss’s Top 10 Movies #58 in Empire magazine’s 100 Best Films of World Cinema Appeared in many critic’s Top 10 lists of 2007 Nominated Best Animated Feature at the 80th Academy Awards (In the US) Reception in Iran Debuted at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in Teheran, Iran Letters of protest arise from the Iran Farabi Foundation before its debut Screened again in 2008 due to the film’s rise in popularity in the U.S. and France. Seen as “Islamophobic” and “anti-Iranian” by government, but Iranian audiences loved the film. Reception in Other Parts of the World In Thailand, Dropped from the Bangkok International Film Festival due to the request of the Iranian embassy In Lebanon, film is banned because it was regarded by Shiite clerics as “offensive to Iran and Islam.” (Ban lifted in 2008) In Tunisia, Islamic protestors attack a television station for broadcasting the film. Film is offensive due to its depiction of God (Allah) Marjane Satrapi's minimalist style utilizes simplistic character design--do her character's plain facial features and expressions detract at all from the quality of their emotional delivery? Seeing this clip, how would you say Marjane Satrapi uses her artistic style and use of visual metaphor to characterize and lampoon the ruling class of Iran? What do you think the stark black and white color scheme, coupled with her use of shadows during her extended flashback is meant to communicate about Marjane's adolescence in Iran and Austria? Did you find Marjane's
depiction of fundamentalist Iran biased, or do you think that she avoids bias by exclusively telling negative stories about the Iranian government exactly as they happened to her? Marjane shows the major crises she's gone through and how it helped to change her. Have you been impacted by something major like her? If so, how did it change you?


Why does it seem like American pop culture has such an influence on Marjane and kids her age? The Iranian government did not want "Persepolis" to be shown in theaters because it was "anti-Iranian". However, once it was shown many Iranian students enjoyed the movie. Why was there an age-gap in preference to the film? In Thailand and in Lebanon, "Persepolis" was banned from being screened by government demand. Should governments be allowed to remove the entirety of a film if they believe the people would find the content offensive? Should governments have a say to what is offensive in modern society? For example, the "Innocence of Islam" film.
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