Persepolis (2007)

Marianne Satrapi believes that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists. But Perspolis isn't a politically oriented film with a message to sell. It is first and foremost a film about Satrapi's love for her family. This animated film is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.
Unlike the comics book series, the film is a long flashback. Marianne Satrapi and Vincent Parronaud create something altogether different but with the same material. It's a one-of-a-kind piece. There was no point filming a sequence of panels. People generally assume that a graphic novel is like a movie storyboard, which of course is not the case.

They started with 2D images on pen tablets but they were not totally happy with the result. The lines lacked definition. It was therefore clear that a traditional animation technique was perfectly suited to Marjane's and Vincent's idea of the film. Satrapi drew all the characters: over 600 model sheets!
In addition to animation director Christian Desmares, other twenty animators worked on the movie. Each sequence (1,200 shots) was given to an animator. Satrapi insisted on being filmed playing out all the scenes.

Using only black and white, they were closer to Japanese animation because of the story’s realism, but they couldn't apply the techniques used in manga. As a result, they had to develop a specific style, both realistic and mature. The film is a combination of German expressionism and Italian neo-realism. It features very down-to-earth, realistic scenes and a highly design-oriented approach, with images sometimes bordering on the abstract. It could be defined as "stylized realism. Satrapi and Parronaud realized that the usual codes in animation didn't seem to fit, so they used movie-style editing, with a great many jump-cuts; even from an aesthetic viewpoint, they drew their sources from cinematic techniques.
Persepolis has been nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 80th Academy Awards, tonight we'll know if it has won an Oscar!
You can buy Persepolis (French edition) and Persepolis (English edition).

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