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Satrapi Launches Official Website & Production Blog of Persepolis: Movie due in Theaters in 2007


Paris Report by Darius KADIVAR


Official website of Persepolis film ©Sony Pictures Classics

It was announced officially during the last Cannes Film Festival. Sony Pictures was to produce Marjane Satrapi's bestseller comic book Persepolis into an animated feature film. Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg's producer on such films as E.T and the Indiana Jones films had purchased the rights for Sony Pictures and the film is co-produced with two French production companies Bibo Films and Pumpkin 3D.  Marjane Satrapi is herself at the helm for the direction and screenplay of what is promised to be faithful adaptation of her now classic hero. The Comic books translated in several languages worldwide ( except in Persian ) has been greeted by enthusiastic readers and has been critically acclaimed over the years since its publication in a small and unknown publishing house l'Association. The phenomena of Satrapi's success with Persepolis has certainly surprised her own compatriots more than other nationals. Who could have imagined that the dark comedy  of an upbringing in revolutionary Iran could strike a cord amongst non-Iranians worldwide of all generations. The outspoken Satrapi managed to render through her series the childhood fears and doubts so common in pre-puberty and amongst teenagers regardless of where they were born. The Iranian historical context of the revolution and its aftermath obviously plays an important role in this story but what makes Satrapi's experience attractive to western readers is probably that it also reflects part of their shortcomings and cultural misconceptions on not only Iran but towards many expatriates from so-called labeled third world countries.


Exorcism's of childhood fears and doubts in Marjane Satrapi's
Persepolis ©Sony Pictures Classics
& pictory Human Rights ©


The language barriers or culture clash take an often comical turn in that they are only human and probably so obvious that one tends to forget the more deeper social, political or historical reason's that could explain them. Maybe Satrapi's genius resides in this simple fact that her hero's statements are expressed from a child or teenager's point of view. They are also very visually simple like black and white photography's that need no particular sophistication but which confront them to the harsh realities that an entire generation of Iranians can alas still relate too .



Excerpt from Satrapi's blog:


A couple of days ago, for the first time we screened Persepolis in a very nice theater on Champs Elysée in Paris. Not that the movie is already finished, but still from the 90 minutes, 63 minutes of it is already animated.

The goal was to show to the totality of the staff what movie exactly they are working on. All of them knew of course about the story, but it's a huge difference between knowing a story and seeing how it will be narrated and showed.

Each step of the movie was present. Some part is only animatic (story board), some animated without being assisted, some others animated and assisted, some colored, and 45 minutes of animated, assisted, colored and composed movie. So each group could see the importance of the work they are doing. Vincent and I, we were so thrilled. It works! We will never be ashamed of our movie!!

The last scene before the end, my heart started beating so badly (thanks god everybody applauded!) thinking about the first time the movie is REALLY going to be screened. I will maybe make a heart attack, I will faint... Or at least I would need a diaper.







French and US Voice Overs :
French Star Catherine Deneuve (conferring
Palme d'Or to Abbas Kiarostami in 1997) and US Star Gena Rowlands
(John Cassavetes' widow)  will be casting the voice for Satrapi's grandma
in Persepolis Animated film. ©Sony Pictures

Marjane Satrapi's film is due for competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and according to Variety Magazine it will be casting Hollywood Actress Gena Rowlands as Satrapi's mother in the US Release of the film. The French cast is however well known and will include Catherine Deneuve ( Satrapi mother), Simon Abkarian ( Satrapi Father) daughter Chiara Mastroiani ( Marjane Satrapi) and Danielle Darrieux (Satrapi Grandma). 



Marjane Satrapi: A Generation's Icon at
book signing in Paris ©l'Association




Author's notes:


Official Movie Website for Persepolis at:


Marjane Satrapi's Blog :


Recommended Reading: Spielberg Associate Acquires Persepolis Rights for US by Darius KADIVAR



About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant


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