Writer and Director Marjane Satrapi's coming of age story is nothing short of a tour de force. Faithfully lifted from her autobiographical novel, this beautiful film is seen through the eyes of Marjane, a courageous, punk loving, Abba-listening young girl who is living in 1970's Iran as the Shah's dictatorial reign draws to a close. There is great excitement in the Satrapi household, for Marjane's intellectual parents believe a new era of freedom will now begin. However they soon discover that the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own. Marjane, fearless and full of fun, nonetheless continues to defy restrictions and refuses to remain silent at the injustice she sees. Fearing for her safety, her parents send her, aged 14, to Vienna to live and study. It is the beginning of a pro-found and revealing journey told with great humour and emotion where Marjane discovers where she truly belongs.
This is an amazing movie, based on Marjane Satrapi's series of autobigraphical graphic novels, with the animation here in the same style. We follow Marjane as a precocious child of a family of intellectuals and dissenters against the tyrannous reign of the Shah in 1970's Iran, to her teen years in Iran after the Islamic Revolution, to her adolescence in Vienna, before she returns to Iran as an adult. It is a story told with unrelenting humour and optimism, even though many of the events related are tragic and harrowing, from the war that Marjane lives through to the loneliness and confusion of having to make it in a foreign country away from her family. It's brilliant, it's moving and you need to see it; a truly remarkable film about a truly remarkable and very courageous woman. Very highly recommended.
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