Marjane Satrapi’s acclaimed graphic novel of the same name was a witty and moving account of her childhood and adolescence in the tumultuous Iran of the ’70s and ’80s. In this animated adaptation, Satrapi (and her co-director, comic book artist Vincent Paronnaud) loses none of the wit and emotion and, with the aid of legendary actresses Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux and Chiara Mastrioanni—who voice Satrapi’s mother, grandmother (the film’s most beguiling character) and the protagonist herself, respectively—further amplifies the drama and pathos. The animation, largely in black and white just like the comic, is deft and compelling, shifting from a Peanuts-like simplicity to a more sophisticated style that recalls the Hernandez brothers’ Love and Rockets. At the centre is Satrapi’s self-portrait of a politicized, freethinking girl whose progressive, loving parents have taught her all she needs to know in order to battle an unjust society.
Persepolis is now playing at the Fox Theatre (2236 Queen St. E.).