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Persepolis

Adapting her memoir into a starkly beautiful animated feature, comics artist Marjane Satrapi braids personal history and national tragedy. From the perspective of her parents, the initial fallout of 1978’s Islamic Revolution is merely awful, but when the Iraq-Iran War follows and mortar fire becomes a nightly occurrence, they send her to school in Vienna, where she enters an adolescence so sullen that it forms a kind of exile itself. Returning to Iran years later, she rushes into marrying a boyfriend mostly because the authorities catch the two holding hands. Despite all this misery, Persepolis avoids both ponderous gloom and cheap uplift. It’s a quickwitted fable for the real world, leavened by affecting goofiness, as in the scene in which burgeoning metalhead Marji cops a contraband Iron Maiden tape on the streets of Tehran.