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Contributor, Culture and Art

Persepolis in Moscow

Persepolis, the one-of-a-kind autobiography of the Iran artist Marjane Satrapi, most artfully conveys her profound and pungent life experiences and sensations in a witty animated cartoon film.

An original advertising trailer found on at once drew my attention to the French animated film that went on general release all around the world, including Russia. I must confess right off: it turns to be the most outspoken, sensible and lively cartoon film I have ever seen.

At first sight Persepolis might probably remind some viewers of anime; however the subject matter of this film is far from the Japanese or any other stylizations. A masterpiece is a masterpiece because it is beyond any comparison. Who but the creator of Persepolis Marjane Satrapi has excelled in revealing most acute human problems, such as hostility, violence, religious fanaticism, falsehood, war, etc. through animation? Who else managed to surmount the cynicism and platitude by way of subtly ridiculing them in a cartoon film? I cannot recall any other cartoons that have touched me as deeply as Persepolis. This film has naturalness and unconstraint, the most precious things ever. Its cordiality is rooted in wisdom itself. The story is sincere, pure and unconventional. It is worth mentioning that the humour of Persepolis is highly competitive with the best jokes of The Simpsons.

It is this kind of a film that can impart something vitally important to a person, make one more alive and help one get rid of confusion. Though the film is rather tough and has nothing to do with entertaining tales for children, I believe it is not meant for adults only. However, one should also keep in mind that the cartoon film is an abridged version of four volumes of comics 150 pages each, and it might be rather hard for a kid (and for a grown-up probably as well) to thoroughly grasp all of the thrilling and profound, sad and funny episodes frequently alternating each other in the course of the film.

Only two copies of this wonderful film have been purchased for Russian distribution; they are now screened in two Moscow cinemas and later will appear in some other big cities of the country. Is not it a little bit insufficient - just two copies of the amazing film in the country with the population of 145 million people? Is there any slight hope that any publishing house in Russia will undertake to issue the outstanding Persepolis comics books?

No matter what the answers might be, I will surely watch the film once again.

October 30, 2007 14:54

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