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"Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

This is a year of many firsts for Persepolis co-directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Their first feature-length film has won them their first In-Competition selection at the Cannes Festival. The team has come to the Croisette with an animated film which, as a first feature, is also in the running for a Golden Camera award. Adapted from the Satrapi's original graphic novel, based on her own life, the action in this animated  feature begins in Tehran in 1978, on the eve of the Islamic Revolution. We look on as Marjane, the eight-year-old heroine, dreams first of becoming a prophet and saving the world, and then, once the Islamic Republic is established, of overthrowing it. During the Iran-Iraq war, Marjane's parents send her to  Austria to keep her out of harm's way. That's where Marjane lives through her second revolution: adolescence, freedom, and lovesickness, but also exile, loneliness, and being different.

On how the film project got started, Marjane Satrapi commented, "It was when I started talking with Vincent about the film project that I realized I not only had the opportunity to work with him, but also the possibility to experience something completely new. After having written graphic novels, children's books, comic strips for newspapers, murals, etc. I felt that I'd reached a transition period. I didn't want to make a film all by myself and I felt if I was going to do it with anyone, it should be Vincent and Vincent alone. He was game for it, and as excited as I was by the challenge. I thought we'd have fun... sometimes, it's the little things that lead to decisions. As I already knew producer Marc-Antoine Robert, we began working together. That was it!"

 

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