Wednesday, 20 May 2015

So I Read Persepolis

A 250 word (or less) review of The Complete Persepolis Graphic Novel
by Marjane Satrapi; Pantheon Books

Persepolis is an autobiographic comic about being Iranian following the revolution in the 1970s. The comic depicts the life of Marjane Satrapi. It starts with her childhood during the Islamic Revolution in Iran and follows Iran's gradual transition into a repressive, fundamentalist country. Persepolis then depicts the war with Iraq, Marjane's time studying in Europe, her return to Iran as a young woman, and her eventual self-imposed exile to France. Along the way we get to experience the emotional arch of the Iranian people: see their hope in revolution, their despair as their movement is co-opted, their anguish in war, and the complex coping strategies they develop to live their lives under Islamic law. We also really get to know Marjane and watch her grow from a precocious girl to an uncertain young woman to a confident, bold woman who has outgrown the limitations of her home country. It's a wonderful and fascinating comic that let's you learn about Iran, with its good and its bad. What's more it allows us to visit and experience a part of the world that is so frequently portrayed as a caricature bogey-land in Western media. It's really a fantastic empathy engine. It's sometimes easy to think of comics as only these escapist machines, but comics like Persepolis serve as reminders that sequential art can be applied to some really powerful real life stories. 

Word count: 230

Post by Michael Bround

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