The Complete Persepolis
The two volume omnibus edition of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoirs and Bildungsroman of growing up in Iran. I actually did not know about the French edition until too late. As is the case sometimes, I regret not having found the original French version to read especially since I perpetually need to brush up my linguistic abilities. I did see the movie in French. Overall, I found this read immensely enjoyable and wonderful. I love it as much as I love The Complete Maus by Art Spielgman, another identity searching and family history memoirs of conflict. Persepolis was moving, tragic, beautifully drawn, funny, painful, and honest. It is beautiful memoirs of childhood and finding one’s own identity with change and upheaval. I liked all the characters; I could feel for them. I liked young Marji’s spirituality, faith, and religion, and while it was difficult to watch her go through her teen years, I could relate to her in a way I have not for a character in a long time. While I did not live through the political and violent times of war and revolutionnary torn Iran, we have similar family dynamics and other things such as the scene with Marji as waitress that hit home.
I often do not cry for movies or books which is quite odd since I can be so sensitive to things. I must admit that the scenes with Marji and her Uncle Anoosh left me verklempt. I read it twice and it affected me, and the film’s scene with it left me in tears. I cannot say why it particularly resonated with me more than some others things, but the scene moves me above so many others.
The film is wonderfully done as well, and while it is a condensed version, it still has the same simple yet affective black and white imagery. It has a couple of things the graphic novel does not, and it is nicely voice acted all around. It is harder to find a more truer to the novel adaptation than with Satrapi as the co-writer and co-director of the film. Both are recommended.