Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is a graphic novel/comic that was adapted into a movie. The novel is an autobiography with true events that happened in the late 1900’s. The black and white panels of the novel can effortlessly grab the attention of any reader and make it entertaining.

Persepolis follows a young girl named Marjane who lives through the revolutionary changes in her home country of Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The most interesting part is that the ongoing crisis and corruption is viewed from a child’s perspective despite how complex it is. In a way, the reader grows and learns more about the government and cultural contexts along with the maturing Marjane.

Satrapi does not fail in grasping the reader’s attention and making them feel the rollercoaster of emotions along with the main characters. The series visits very critical and mature topics during the late 1900s that the Iranians/Marjane face. Thus, more mature readers should be able to handle these topics. 

Satrapi’s series is emotional and very moving. The oppression and government conflicts can be seen as a parallel to our world today. Just like Marjane who speaks up against the corruption of her government to maintain her rights, many of us participate in rallies or protests to uphold our values. 

Similar to Marjane who is facing a revolutionary change in her nation, many of us are currently facing a new change in our nation as well. Before Marjane knew it herself, her world changed for the better! Thus, just like Marjane, we must find the will to stay strong, inspire others, and survive. 

Ultimately, Marjane’s spirit and growing perspective of the world around her is inspiring. This series is not only a best-seller but also studied in academic literature courses all over the world as a work in translation. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is struggling to pick up a book during quarantine or in their free time (ahem, I know that’s some of us). It also opens up your ideas of Iranian culture and Islamic politics during the 1900s. 

I also recommend it for anyone who wants to try a new format of reading: comic-style. The panels are very easy to read and the black and white colors are used in such a captivating way. In fact, I read this entire novel in one sitting. I definitely hope others feel the same way as well. 

-Zohal N. 

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Film Review: Persepolis

Persepolis film.jpg

This is a movie I watched a long time ago, and loved. It’s based off of the graphic novel

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and tells the story of her childhood in and out of Iran, before and after the Iranian Revolution that ended 2,500 years of continuous Persian monarchical rule and installed the government of today.

While I didn’t read the graphic novel, I find the movie’s animation style very interesting. It’s unlike anything else. The present-day is animated in color, but the important parts, the story of her childhood, is in grayscale.

Image result for persepolis movieWhat was most memorable, of course, was the fact that this is based off of a true story. Marji goes from an outspoken child to someone who suffers the loss of multiple relatives and friends, and sees her country constantly at war. Despite this, she does her best to stay herself.

As the new government becomes increasingly oppressive and systematically takes away human freedoms, she and her friends find solace in sneaking in Western rock CDs to class, wearing punk pullovers, and doing other things to rebel against the government. After standing up for herself in school, she’s sent to a school in Austria to keep her safe, which she loves but doesn’t quite fit in to. She jumps from house to house, each time meeting someone even more ridiculous, before ending up on the streets. After almost dying, she returns to Iran, where things are just as she remembers, but it’s her that changed. Marji falls into a deep depression, but eventually makes it out and vows to not let the people she love down. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of her troubles. Image result for persepolis movieBefore watching this movie, I knew little about Iran and Iranian people. But seeing the world from another perspective really has taught me a lot. I’ll remember Persepolis for the wonderful jokes, animation, and story (Does contain some adult content). You should definitely watch if you have time over the summer.

-Michael Z.

Persepolis is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library