The title is a reference to the historic city of Persepolis and the movie is based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel.
The young Marjane is coming of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The film shows her and her family's hopes and fears as the Islamic fundamentalists take power, forcing head coverings on women and imprisoning thousands; the story ends with Marjane as a 21-year-old expatriate.
The animation is very simple when compared to a Pixar or Dreamworks classic but Persepolis has its own flavor to add to the genre. The simple cartoonic style switches drastically between the world of a child and the sharp realities of a world at war.
From cut-out shadow puppets to haunting silhouettes and sharp landscapes the animators compliment the narrator with an intimacy that would be hard to capture with a live action film. I am impressed that Marjane chose to tell her story through a graphic novel and now film instead of other more contemporary methods.
Although the animation is abstract the story and performances are very real and human. There is is striking intimacy within the Marjane's thoughts and emotions.
The whole story is beautifully told through the marriage of well crafted animation and an amazing story. The film takes you beyond a history lesson and into a deeper world inspired from the imagination of an observant little girl.
A favorite movie in the new year.