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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Persepolis/Interview with Marjane Satrapi


Writer/filmmaker Marjane Satrapi and her self-portrait (Sony Pictures Classics)

Matjane Satrapi was born in Iran to progressive parents. She was educated from a young age at French schools. She currently lives in Paris. Her autobiographical and brilliant graphic novels Persepolis chronicle about sixteen years in her life beginning in 1978 Teheran. She has now brought the graphic novels to the screen as a black and white animated French feature. Vincent Paronnaud co-directs and co-writes the film. I had a chance to speak with Satrapi last year when she was promoting the film during its qualifying run for the Oscars. The film didn't make the short list for Best Foreign Film but it may nab an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film. Satrapi proved to be as engaging and animated as her film.

Persepolis (opening January 18 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) made my Ten Best list for 2007.

BETH ACCOMANDO: Tell me why you chose to call your graphic novels, Persepolis ?

MARJANE SATRAPI: To understand the situation in any country of the world, you have to know a little about the history of that country. Unfortunately for Iran, everyone knows about after 1979, and everybody forgets this is this big country with 4000 years of history. So Persepolis is the name the Greeks gave to the ancient capitol of Persia, and in Greek it means the city of the Persians. So for me it gave a historical perspective to the story. Plus this one word is a nice word, easy to remember. So for all these reasons I chose this title.