Last night, Daniel and I went out on a very, very cold night in Minneapolis to see the movie "Persepolis." Persepolis is based on a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi that tells her story of growing up in Iran during the waning days of the Shah and as the Islamic hardliners took over. Being an animation geek and interested in world politics, this was a movie I was interested in seeing.
And wow, what a movie. The animation is great, but what moves this film is the story. It focuses on Marjane, headstrong girls as she comes of age during some important times in history.
I left the film feeling a lot of what I deal with is not that bad, and that Iran is a lot more complex than the images of people saying "death to America." As Marjane said in a recent interview:
"If you understand that a guy who is dying is exactly like you, who likes to go to the movies, and eat ice-cream and make love to his wife and has a mother and children and hopes etcetera, then it becomes much more difficult. So if this movie can participate in that fact and say 'Hey! It's just a matter of human beings, no matter where you come from, all of use we are human, let's think about that.' Maybe that will be the right question."
One of the last words spoken during the film is that "freedom has a price." You realize that when you see Marjane's story which is probably duplicated millions of times in Iran.
When I was a kid watching the Iranian revolution and the hostage taking of Americans on TV, I believed that all Iranians were religious nuts. Of course, these days I don't believe that, but this movie took that message home. Some want a life of freedom, the freedom we take for granted.
If you have a chance, go see this movie. Now.