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Persepolis Case Study

Amy Charlewood | Wednesday February 12, 2014

Categories: GCSE, WJEC GCSE, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Persepolis, Genres & Case Studies, Animation, 1990 Onwards, Biography, Drama, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

WJEC GCSE Film Studies Paper 2 Exploring Film Outside Hollywood: Persepolis (2007)

Introduction and Synopsis

Persepolis (2007) is based on a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi’s called The Complete Persepolis and is a coming-of-age memoir that tells of the author’s experiences growing up during and in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. Persepolis was also adapted into a 2007 animated film of the same name, written and directed by Satrapi along with Vincent Paronnaud.  The film went on to win the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Picture.

The film opens with Marjane as a young adult in Paris-Orly airport, unable to board the plane for reasons unknown to the audience - Marjane instead sits and smokes a cigarette. The film then flashes back to her life as a child growing up in Tehran depicting not only her experiences as an imaginative child but also the growing uprising against the Shah of Iran. The uprisings are successful and result in a Islamic Republic being brought into power, leading to many changes in Majane’s and her familie’s daily lives. Majane rebels against the strict regime and fearing for her life her parents send her to Vienna, the other key location in the film. Here she feels isolated and displaced, eventually living on the streets for a period of time. After a stay in hospital she returns to Iran where a stricter than ever regime means Marjane must marry her boyfriend - this falls apart and after a death of a friend during an illegal party it is once again decided that Marjane should leave and never return. The final scene reveals Marjane once again back at Paris-Orly airport getting into the taxi and presumably starting her life in Paris.

Based in Iran with the back-drop of a political and social instability Persepolis offers a very personal story whilst simultaneously exploring a very complicated range of events and issues....

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