Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For Maryam: Persopolis

I saw this trailer at my local art movie house. Who else could I have thought of other than my blog team member Maryam Namazie, who has a biography much like Marjane Satrapi. Maryam shows us everyday that both imperialist intervention and Islamism can be fought simultaneously. This synopsis is from the website Wild About Movies, a source of admission to free movie screenings.



"Persepolis" is the poignant - animated - story of a young girl coming-of-age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine-year-old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power - forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the "social guardians" and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable.

As she gets older, Marjane's boldness causes her parents to worry over her continued safety. And so, at age fourteen, they make the difficult decision to send her to school in Austria. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, she endures the typical ordeals of a teenager. In addition, Marjane has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape. Over time, she gains acceptance, and even experiences love, but after high school she finds herself alone and horribly homesick.

Though it means putting on the veil and living in a tyrannical society, Marjane decides to return to Iran to be close to her family. After a difficult period of adjustment, she enters art school and marries, all the while continuing to speak out against the hypocrisy she witnesses. At age 24, she realizes that while she is deeply Iranian, she cannot live in Iran. She then makes the heartbreaking decision to leave her homeland for France, optimistic about her future, shaped indelibly by her past.

"Persepolis," the animated French film gets a dubbed United States release Christmas Day, featuring the voices of Sean Penn and Iggy Pop.

RENEGADE EYE

49 comments:

sonia said...

Maryam shows us everyday that both imperialist intervention and Islamism can be fought simultaneously.,

Fighting a two-front war is a recipe for disaster. Just ask Adolf Hitler.

A smart tactician would fight Islamism first, imperialism later (or never).

Trotsky, too, wanted to fight fascism and capitalism simultaneously. Got stabbed in the back by neither of them... Died a fool.

Larry Gambone said...

I have read the book versions of Percepolis and found them excellent.

Sonia;
Socialists and anarchists have always fought imperialism and other forms of reaction simultaneously. Only opportunists have chosen one or the other.

Aaron A. said...

I'll have to check out the movie.

A smart tactician would fight Islamism first, imperialism later (or never).

Didn't this brand of imperialism fuel militant Islamism? It definitely did for the Iranian Revolution. (Another great foreign policy success.)

Ren,
We'll have to check out his band.
Know the time and place? I'll keep my eyes peeled on the local happenings (all 4 of them).

LeftyHenry said...

The Iranian state represents a National Bourgeois state. One which has kicked out US imperialism though and thus alot freer than many other states. I don't see why its always Iran targeted by leftists when a country like Saudi Arabia has far worse codes against woman and is Americas top ally in the region

Renegade Eye said...

Sonia: US is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition the potential attack on Iran. In Afghanistan the Taliban controls 50% of the country. The US is fighting on more fronts, than revolutionaries like Maryam.

You call Trotsky a fool, like someone shouting out a window. Should he of compromised with Stalin?

Aaron: Your brother has details about John Peterson's show.

The route of Islamism in Iran, was installing the Shah.

Larry: Most modern wars are not just one war. Burma is a inter-imperialist war between the US and China, as well as the struggle for democracy. Those are two different issues.

Lefty: I don't disagree. When opposition surfaces in Saudi Arabia, it deserves support.

jams o donnell said...

I wonder if anyone will actually discuss the film itself or Satrapi's original graphic novel(s)?

I'm very much looking forward to the film's UK release. Given that Satrapi was co-director, I would expect it to be very true to the graphic novel which itself is superb. It can be grim reading (just like Maus which is a major influence) but it has plenty of wry humour too. I agree with Larry, it is superb.

I would suggest you all go to Amazon (or whatever online store you use) or go down to your local bookstore and get a copy of the Complete Persepolis forthwith. Buy a second copy and ram it up the arse of the nearest Ahmadinejad apologist (you know the sort the ones who applaud his anti americanism but ignore Iran's gross human rights abuses).

a very public sociologist said...

Looks like an interesting film.

Lefty Henry, as I see it if we are opposed to an attack on Iran and would like to see the theocracy overthrown by its people, a two pronged approach is vitally necessary. For us in the west, it means organising against the drive to war while forging links and making available resources to leftists, trade unions, and progressive movements within Iran.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Though I'm hesistant to offer solutions to the perennial question "why are leftists primarily concerned with convincing rational people that all leftists are mentally retarded," I'll pass a hint that the question is most asked due to leftists willy-nilly labelling everything under the sun "imperialism."

sonia said...

Larry,

Socialists and anarchists have always fought imperialism and other forms of reaction simultaneously,

And that explains their miserables failures...

Aaron,

Didn't this brand of imperialism fuel militant Islamism?

No. It's Islamism that fuels Western imperialism. Getting rid of Islamism will weaken imperialism.

But doing the opposite (fighting imperialism first) will only fuel Islamism.

Leftyhenry,

I don't see why its always Iran targeted by leftists when a country like Saudi Arabia has far worse codes against woman and is Americas top ally in the region

Because Iran provides a better excuse for American imperialism than Saudi Arabia. Without Iran, US troops wouldn't even be in the region.

Ren,

You call Trotsky a fool, like someone shouting out a window. Should he compromised with Stalin?

No. He should have assassinated Stalin. He was a fool because he was fighting capitalists and fascists, instead of Stalinists.

Anybody who doesn't fight against the gravest danger first, is a fool.

The US is fighting on more fronts, than revolutionaries like Maryam.

Good point. The question becomes, why is Maryam repeating Bush's mistakes ?

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Sonia,

You really ought to extricate yourself from the completely meaningless way the leftists here employ the word "imperialism." About the only thing in common I have with leftists here is that even they don't know what they mean when they whip that term out at me.

Is it "imperialism" to want to transform Iran into a land where it isn't necessary to "put on the veil and live in a tyrannical society?"

Is it "imperialism" that Marjane has to "put on the veil and live in a tyrannical society" to be near here family? I thought Marxists were all for destruction of families? Her mother (because her father died in the Iraq/Iran war) couldn't have been too strapped for means if she could afford to send her off to Austria to go to school. Why can't momma get out of Iran?

I realize this cartoon is intentionally impressive to leftists (which can only mean it it steadfastly avoids presenting anything resembling intellectual content), but it presents an opportunity to verify through discussion that "imperialism," to a leftist, never means anything discussion-worthy.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

How do the "anti-imperialists" feel about the bombs being dropped on Marjane's cartoon Tehran being of Warsaw Pact, French, and German design and craftsmanship?

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

How do the "anti-imperialists" feel about Marjane's cartoon theocratic Tehran being bombed by cartoon Arab Socialist Iraq?

politiques USA said...

I wonder if anyone will actually discuss the film itself or Satrapi's original graphic novel(s)?
I read Le Monde and a few years ago there was a special interview from Marjane Satrapi and her views on Iran, but I never read her graphic novels. At 1st sight after browsing the search engines the way she draws reminds me of the original cartoon "Les Mondes Engloutis".
Finally today I'll be watching the movie in french version to find out more about her story.

Little Pope said...

Hey, Renegade Eye. Since Maryam is a member of your team blog, what does she think of the close friendship between Hugo Chavez (a wannabe socialist) and a fundamentalist women oppresor like Ahmenidajad?

jams o donnell said...

I realize this cartoon is intentionally impressive to leftists (which can only mean it it steadfastly avoids presenting anything resembling intellectual content), but it presents an opportunity to verify through discussion that "imperialism," to a leftist, never means anything discussion-worthy.


Beamish, I take it that you have not read Persepolis either. Why not do yourelf a favour and find ouit what it's about. You probably would not make such an idiotic statement.

Renegade Eye said...

Little Pope: I'm glad you asked that.

I supported my comrades In Iran's position, who opposed Chavez's meeting Ahmenidajad.

http://www.pishtaaz.com/kargar/english/chavez-letter.htm

I'll comment more lately.

politiques USA said...

Jams O' Donnell: there is an online version (screener) on BT links of the movie "persepolis" in french or spanish. So far there is no english version yet, unless someone from the internet community decides to write english subs for the movie which would be good.

jams o donnell said...

Politiques, the graphic novel is easily available in Engligh. Given that Satrapi co-wrote the screenplay and is co-director, I would be very surprised if the film is differs much from teh novels although I would be interested to see how a rather epidodic tale is brought to the screen.

Renegade Eye said...

Beamish: I don't get your point.

I can't say for sure, I would call a border dispute imperialist, because I try to be precise with terms.

Trotsky died without a valid passport. I don't see any sympathy for reactionary Arab regimes.

politiques USA said...

I just finished watching the cartoon Persepolis (runtime is 90 minutes) in french version and I started reading the cartoons in english. I will comment further tomorrow (the wife is asleep and she can hear me typing on the keyboard)

Yoga Korunta said...

The trailer reminded me of Manoucher Parvin's novel "Cry For My Revolution, Iran," Mazda, 1987. Dr. Parvin was my economics professor in college.

sonia said...

Beamish,

You really ought to extricate yourself from the completely meaningless way the leftists here employ the word "imperialism."

I don't have a problem with imperialism or the way leftists use that term.

US is an imperialist nation. I am glad US is an imperialist nation. I even support US imperialism as long as it's directed against totalitarian Iraq or theocratic Afghanistan, not if it was directed against democratic France or semi-democratic Russia or Iran)...

David Broder said...

According to the Weekly Worker, at the UK Media Workers Against the War conference an SWPer said "trade unionists here should not support trade unionists
in Iran now. Regime change from
below is just not on the agenda.”

politiques USA said...

Jams: the story of the movie sticks completely with the graphic novel at 98%, there are 2 or 3 things that teach us more about the personality of Marjine but I won't tell you what it is so that I can't spoil it.
Most of the movie is in black and white for her past and the present time is in color. The only difference is you will find lots of very cursing words in the movie version which is kind of wierd because french civilization has not been exposed to that, unless things have changed over there in the last decade. You'll see also the differences of culture between westerners and iranians. It is a cute movie, otherwise you do not really find out more about Iran, except is is just another country that went backward the last 3 decades.

Renegade Eye said...

Yoga Korunta: Welcome to this blog.

Politiques: Persopolis hasn't been in the theaters yet.

Sonia: I don't use the word imperialism casually. I use Lenin's definition. It's pedestrian to use it as meaning colnialist.

I think you have to drop everything and see "No Country for Old Men."

Dave Broder: Do you think Ernest Mendel not being alive, has to do with the SWP's degeneration to pardon my terminology, veiled support of Islamism?

politiques USA said...

Politiques: Persopolis hasn't been in the theaters yet
Not in the US but in Europe. Bittorrent links should do the trick ;)

jams o donnell said...

Politiques, but then Persepolis was produced in black and white. Thecolour present day pieces are obviously an add on. I'm glad to see that it is very true to the graphic novel

Foxessa said...

Some samples of the Persepolis graphic novel are here:

http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/graphicnovels/persepolis.html

For trailers and other info re the Persepolis film you can go here:

http://www.sonypictures.com/classics/persepolis/

The film's open here too.

Love, C.

Mehmet Çagatay said...

People often confuse imperialism with colonialism or even with a worse, empire. Couple of months ago, a Turkish newspaper published an article from a Turkish academician of a prominent American university. Its central assertion was based on the idea that US shouldn’t count as an imperialist power since she is not an empire: She is governed with democracy (!) These were most the ridiculous statements that I had ever come upon for a long time; anyway, two days later, they were derided by another writer as imperialistic ignorance. The term “imperialism” implies a particular economic activity rather than political and militaristic interventions. They are just by-products. Lenin defines imperialism in the “briniest” sense as “monopoly stage of capitalism”. Even this definition has triggered a considerable amount of confusion when treated outside of his text. Thus I prefer his later explanation as regards the UK of his time:

“The income of the rentiers is five times greater than the income obtained from the foreign trade of the biggest "trading" country in the world. This is the essence of imperialism and imperialist parasitism.”

The Pagan Temple said...

If the producers of this film intended it to be seen by a mass audience, their first mistake, and their worse one, was in utilizing the talents of Sean Penn, which will immediately identify it in the mind of the movie-going public as a leftist propoganda film. I know seeing his name attached to it certainly made me jump to that conclusion.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: Art is judged in its own vocabulary. Don't start sounding like Beakerkin on Sonia's blog, liking John Wayne for being anti-communist. That is a Stalinist aesthetic.

I like Fred Thompson on "Law and Order," and heck Robert Duvall is politically idiotic, that doesn't stop from liking him in "Lonesome Dove."

Sean Penn is a respected actor. He is not a fly by night activist-actor, like Paris Hilton suddenly discovering Rwanda.

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren-

You are correct. He is not a "fly-by-night". That is just the problem. He is certainly talented, but he is nevertheless as identified in the public mind as a leftist activist as John Wayne was as a anti-communist. Can you imagine John Wayne knowingly portraying a communist, at least in a positive light?

You would never see that if Wayne had lived to be a thousand. Nor are you likely to see Penn portray a good ol' boy redneck in a positive light, espousing some conservative cause in a sincere and serious manner.

Which,that is fine, he has that right. It doesn't change the fact that his affiliation with this film will color it accordingly in the public's mind, be that for good or for bad.

jams o donnell said...

Pagan,

Iggy Pop is doing one of the voices too. Does that eman people will expect one of the characters to get their dick out?

Rudy said...

I find it hilarious how much hypocrisy there is to be found in the social conservative world, and the world of Islam.

I read nothing in this post about economics. The post was about the culture and "family values' that run rampant in the world of Islam. These so-called values also run through the minds of our conservative countrymen. It just doesn't run in their hearts. US conservatism and "Islamofacism" are the two biggest breeders of hypocrisy on the globe. They are both steeped in so-called values and military might. Diplomacy stands for shit.

As for your first commenter: The two fronts in which you speak of were fought with weapons. The war fought by Maryam Namazie is fought with words.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Sonia,

The leftists here (and you too, presumably) seem to believe "imperialism" means something other than "the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas."

Is Iran's backing of Hezbollah in Lebanon "imperialism?"

Renegade Eye said...

Imperialism is a term used in a pedestrian manner both left and right.

It wouldn't apply to Iran and Hezbollah, because it involves state to state relations.

I would have to study Iran more, to see if the economy is developed enough to be imperialist. Imperialism usually involves the big players US, UK, China etc.

Graeme said...

Is it "imperialism" to want to transform Iran into a land where it isn't necessary to "put on the veil and live in a tyrannical society?"

For Maryam, no. For you, yes.

If Iran wants to get rid of their theocracy, let them do it. It isn't your job to save them, o knight in shining armor.

If someone wants to wear a veil, should they be allowed to? If someone wants to live under sharia law, should it be allowed?

politiques USA said...

It wouldn't apply to Iran and Hezbollah, because it involves state to state relations
A few days ago the iranian President sent a letter to the french President (Nicolas Sarkozy) asking him to join forces against the US. In the letter he emphasized that France and Iran share common interests in Lebanon. I immediately thought of Hezbollah. On the french side this country gave up colonialist powers after WW2 (from the 60s to the 70s: Indochina, Tunisia, Algeria, ...etc) but they cannot under moral obligations (hopefully) abandon Lebanon. This case has always been very enigmatic to me since the death of Hariri because France won't be able to conciliate these interests under US demands.


There is no cultural heritage between Lebanon and Iran, except with the Shia community,and Iran as we know always supported the Hezbollah financially to carry out economic aid and also violent acts. From a geopolitical point of view there is a constant influence of Iran in the Middle-East such as Syria, Azerbaidjan, Lebanon for the past 25 years, and Iraq now. There is nothing the Bush administration can do about that in terms of economic and ethnic activities in the geographic world.

Liberal White Boy said...

Like it or not you are now linked to liberal white boy, because and only because you have been and will likely continue to be an interesting character.

enigma4ever said...

Hey there Renegade....good post, I want to see that movie...BTW Jody is singing over at Watergate tonight...dedicated to you ;-)

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Graeme,

If Iran wants to get rid of their theocracy, let them do it. It isn't your job to save them, o knight in shining armor.


Save them? Fuck them.

The only thing that would be tragic about bombing Iran back into the Stone Age is that it might be impossible to find time to watch all the combat footage with popcorn.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Ren,

Imperialism is a term used in a pedestrian manner both left and right.

I rarely use the term at all. In its dictionary sense, it today only readily applies to France (in Africa), China (in Tibet and Taiwan), and Venezuela (in Colombia). Iran in Syria and Lebanon if you stretch the dictionary definition a bit to include proxy forces.

None of these examples are truly "imperialism" in the classical sense, hence my refraining from employing the term.

Imperialism is as dead a geopolitical imperative in the world as the last relevant leftists, Hitler and Stalin.

At least you don't make the term even more meaningless by adding the word "cultural" in front of it.

Kris Petersen said...

Can't wait to see this film - I read the excellent books last year when my girlfriend introduced them to me.

jams o donnell said...

Save them? Fuck them.The only thing that would be tragic about bombing Iran back into the Stone Age is that it might be impossible to find time to watch all the combat footage with popcorn.

Beamish I hope that is just a joke, albeit an idiotic one. If you are serious then you are not better than the vermin who took delight over 9/11.

The Pagan Temple said...

The Iranian people (as opposed to the Iranian regime) are allegedly the most pro-western of all Islamic nations. At least, that's what the MSM says, usually after they take pains to warn us that the evil Bu$hitler regime are planning an invasion of Iran any day now.

I don't know if it's true or not, though just in case it is, I would be hesitant to "bomb them back to the stone age", insofar as the Iranain people goes.

As far as the regime goes, that's a different story. I wouldn't want to bomb them back to the stone age, however, as that implies they would still be somewhere on the face of the earth.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Jams,

I always make a distinction between Iran (the government) and Persia (the people).

"Iran" came to be the name of the place in reaction to Hitler's "Aryan" stuff, as in, "Hey, we're the master race too." Hence my usual references to "Iranian-occupied Persia" on other forums. Wipe them off the face of the earth, yesterday.

As far as making the distinction between government and people when it comes time to bomb them into the Stone Age, I say "try," but don't make it high priority. The United States has had casus belli to whoop "Iran's" ass for almost 30 years.

el Tom said...

Cheers for the name change folks. keep up the good work. ;o)

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