Heartless Bitch “Must See” Movie

by Natalie P.

September 21, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Movie Reviews | No Comments

Last night I went to the opening film, Persepolis, at the Ottawa International Animation festival.  For some reason this movie “Shocked” Cannes.  I’m still puzzling about that one. Was it shocking because it openly criticized the west for selling arms to both sides of a war that killed a million people? Or was it shocking because it challenged stereotypes and prejudices of what Iranian women were/are supposed to be?

Based on the graphic Novel by Marjane Satrapi, this Iranian film is in French with English subtitles (the YouTube posts don’t have the subtitles), and chronicles (in retrospective fashion) a young girl’s life and coming of age in Iran.  The spare line-drawn style of the artwork faithfully reproduces the feel of the graphic novel and I believe this makes the story more compelling. (It’s not one of those animated films that tries to make up for a bad storyline and dialog with flashy graphics and animations). 

The story begins with Marjane at age 9, when the Shah is still in power, and ends with her self-imposed (and partially parental-imposed exile) many years later, after the Iran-Iraq war. 

Though this is a black-and-white animated feature, it views like a feature film, and I found it utterly captivating.  It’s an unsentimental look at a precocious and intelligent girl struggling to grow up and find herself in an increasingly totalitarian and rigid society.

It’s also a candid look at the inside of Iranian society that most westerners would never otherwise see and a sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious retelling of the joys and struggles of her childhood and growing up both inside and outside of Iran. I hate to use the word ‘poignant’ because it’s so overused, but even though it has it’s serious moments, the film is peppered with enough black humor that it never gets maudlin. And I just LOVED the Grandmother. She rocked. 

At one point Marjane tells her grandmother how she narrowly escaped getting in trouble with the police (for wearing too much makeup) by telling them that a nearby man insulted her. They arrested the man.  The grandmother said, “You think that’s funny?”  Marjane replied, “Well, yes…”, and her grandmother proceeded to berate her, calling her a selfish bitch, and reminding Marjane that her grandfather and uncle went to jail and died fighting for freedom and protection of the innocent. When Marjane protested, “But I had no choice, they would have arrested ME.”, her grandmother replied, “You ALWAYS have a choice. ALWAYS.  In the end, all you have is your integrity.”  Can you see why I just adored this woman? 

I also found it amusing to see a film where the mother is upset and cries at her daughter’s marriage announcement saying, “Married at 21! So young… I wanted you to be a free woman, educated and emancipated.”

There is also a brilliant scene in the university when Marjane stands up to the administration when they dictate that the women must wear longer headscarfs and straighter pants.

In fact, I wish I’d had something to write down all the great quotable quotes (because they aren’t on the IMDB), but all I can say is SEE THIS MOVIE if you get a chance. It’s an HBI Classic and destined to be one of my favorites.

Email This Post Email This Post


Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please fill out the form below.

Name

Email

Website

Comments

 


Your Ad Here


Allposters.com

Buy fun Heartless BitchStuff and help keep HBI running!

We now Accept

Acceptance Mark