Film Review: Persepolis, Cameo Cinema

25 Apr


The trials and tribulations of growing up in 1970s Iran are the subject of Persepolis, the film based on the autobiographical series of comic books by Marjane Satrapi.

Feisty and smart, the young Marjane is a true force of nature as she careers through life in Iran, a country constantly reeling from political and religious change and confusion. The films follows our heroine and her family as they struggle to live a normal life.

As Marjane grows up, encountering persecution from the authorities and struggling to remain an individual, we follow her move away from Iran to Vienna. Consumed with guilt, it’s the memory of her sage Grandmother, a woman with a homily for every situation, that anchors her to her childhood home.

Although the film is basically a cartoon it is never cartoonish. Through the stark black and white imagery, and thanks to some superb vocal talents from luminaries such as Catherine Deneuve (the Cameo are screening the superior French subtitled version as opposed to the dubbed), it’s rare for the animation to jar.

Politics, religion and music from Rocky 3 might not sound the perfect combination, but when they are bound together by a family story that viewers from around the globe can identify with, the result is entrancing.

Review by Jonathan Melville

Persepolis is out now – visit the Cameo website for details – and feel lucky we’re getting the non-dubbed version!

Update! – soon after publishing this post I noticed (and it was kindly pointed out in the comments) that the Cameo are only showing the non-dubbed version on weeknights, with the American-dub at all other times. If you can only see it during the day/weekends then don’t let this put you off, just remember that some other cities aren’t even getting the subtitled version so do your best to get along in the evening if you can. Sermon over.

Visit the Persepolis website

View the trailer


2 Responses to “Film Review: Persepolis, Cameo Cinema”

  1. Peter Simpson 25 April, 2008 at 7:32 pm #

    It is a cracker, I saw it a while back, really striking and surprisingly funny. The re-dub does look like a shocker though, the trails hint that, dubbed, a) dignified political prisoner has heart-to-heart with nephew in jail cell becomes b) drooling old punk rocker snarling at child in jail cell. Not what you want really…

    I heard that the Cameo had both prints, they told me that the French one would only be showing on weeknights. Those sneaky, lovely bastards!

  2. Jon 25 April, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    I noticed that they were showing the dubbed one soon after linking to their website but didn’t have a chance to update it. Will get onto it now! It’s a shame people who can only go weekdays/weekends will get the dubbed version – I heard the practice referred to as “dubbing down” the other day…

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