Last night my fiance and I watched Persepolis, an autobiographical film by Marjane Satrapi based on her graphic novels. I had heard about this film on the New York Times when it had been released and was intrigued by the story, but I never had a chance to see it. Enter the Netflix, and we had it delivered to our doorstep. My short take on it would be that I really liked the film, but it was really sad.
I was really shocked that I probably learned more about Iran’s history in the movie than I had in my entire U.S. education. I’m a little ashamed about it, and I went to Wikipedia to verify some of the larger details. From what I can gather, its a mostly accurate depiction of the history of Iran during that time period. It’s pretty sobering stuff, with the ultimate kicker being that even though our country has an IMMENSE dependence upon this nation, and has participated in major political events, it is nothing more than a footnote in our history books, if that. I don’t ever recall learning about the Middle East during any of my school classes or at University. I think that it is remarkable that we should know so little about this nation, and continually wonder at our continued inability to understand them, or even interact with them in a reliable manner. Look at how well we understand Canadian or British history and we still have issues understanding them.
That other thing that really stood out to me was the similarities in the revolution with Vietnams. Reading some more about it, I know that some of the fundamental reasons were different, but in essence I believe that the people rebelled in the hopes of something better and were only given an even worse country for their efforts. In a way, I felt a kinship with the Iranian people I don’t think I would have felt without watching the movie. If you aren’t from a country that was torn by revolution and clouded over by disappointment, I think it’s hard to have that same feeling, but if you are, then this movie will really speak to you.
Two thumbs up.