Reviewer's Grade: A+
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, "Persepolis" is an animated, autobiographical account of author Marjane Satrapi's formative years in Iran and Austria. Starting with the 1978-79 Iranian Revolution and creation of an Islamic republic in that country, the story follows Marji to school in Vienna, where people treat her like a threat, and back to Tehran again, where she finds the world of her childhood transformed into a place hostile to women and, in some ways, everyone else.
What transforms this from a film that could have been a messy, abstract political treatise into a powerful commentary about the effects of war, religion and politics on individual humans is Marji's perception of the events around her. With an acerbic, probing wit and a talent for cutting through rhetorical hyperbole, she filters the East and West in a way that humanizes both and facilitates cultural understanding that transcends political and religious dogma. PG-13