Sunday, June 27, 2010

Marjane Satrapi

Okay, I'm a proponent of talented female animators, so after I was fortunate enough to see Marjane Satrapi's semi-recent film, Persepolis (2007), I knew I had to learn more about her.

According to good-'ol-Wikipedia, Marjane is "an Iranian-born (1969) French contemporary graphic novelist, illustrator, Academy Award-nominated animated film director, and children's book author". Hey, my dream job description!

The film, Persepolis is based off of Marjane's autobiographical book/graphic novel series of the same name. For U.S. release it was published in two parts, Persepolis 1 which chronicles Marjane's life as a young girl living in Tehran, Iran during the war with Iraq, and Persepolis 2 which chronicles her life as a young adult in Austria struggling to come to terms with her native identity, her new environment and her newly found freedom.

I like it when animators use animation as a means for self-expression and information. Something can be beautiful, entertaining, and educating for children and adults all at the same time, and Marjane's very personal tale of historical tyranny, tragedy, and culture-shock, supported by her stark, almost German expressionist-inspired drawings, reminds us Americans that even in the depths of the war-torn Middle-East there are human beings with caring families who seek love and acceptance just like the rest of us.


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