SPEC D: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud w/ voices of Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux. France. 95 min. Sep 6, 9 pm Visa Screening Room (Elgin); Sep 8, 10 pm Scotiabank 1. Rating: NNNNN
Winner of the Prix du Jury at Cannes, this masterful screen adaptation of Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel recounts, with an exhilarating mix of wry humour and nostalgia, her journey from a precocious and feisty Tehran childhood fostered by loving, progressive parents to life as a young adult in France some 20 years later.
A classic coming-of-age tale tangled in extraordinary circumstances, Persepolis deals with the fall of the Shah, the installation of the Islamic republic, the ills of applied ideology, the Iran/Iraq war and a brief -- and hilarious -- bout of adolescent exile in Vienna with sharp and refreshingly candid insight.
Hand-drawn, mostly in black-and-white, and charmingly free of CGI, Persepolis is a brilliant tour de force and an utter delight.
And in the current climate of manufactured fear and ignorance about Iran (mind you, the Iranian authorities showed themselves less than pleased with the film when it premiered at Cannes), it's an absolute must-see.