"Episodic Presentation with Communist Subtext"
What You Need To Know:
PERSEPOLIS is told in an episodic fashion, so the movie lacks a strong narrative line to carry viewers past the movie’s minimalist black and white animation. Also, the movie has a politically correct, Neo-Marxist outlook toward freedom. In fact, the main person who inspires the heroine’s sociopolitical views about freedom is her Communist grandfather, imprisoned first by the Shah, then by the Ayatollah. Thus, while the movie is not didactic propaganda, it suffers from a lack of proper biblical, political and historical discernment.
(RoRo, CoCoCo, PCPCPC, Ab, B, AP, LL, VV, S, A, DD, M) Strong Romantic worldview with very strong Communist, politically correct subtext linking freedom and political activism against totalitarianism with Marxism and Communism instead of offering a biblical view of free market capitalism, representative government and anti-totalitarianism, plus it is vaguely implied that Catholic nuns in school are similar to Islamic teachers in repressive Iran, God is seen as equivalent to Karl Marx in a fantasy scene, some talk about the price of freedom and some brief anti-American content, including negative talk about the CIA’s involvement in Iran in the 1950s (it could be argued that the CIA prevented a Communist takeover of Iran, which borders the Soviet Union, including Iran’s extensive oil fields but it could also be argued that the CIA and other American government agencies lack a proper understanding of the Christian foundations of Western Civilization); strong but brief violent images, including implied torture; 17 obscenities, six light profanities and animated character vomits; light references to violence; implied fornication in one scene and other sexual references; no nudity; brief alcohol use; brief smoking and brief marijuana references; and, child rebels and wears a shirt favoring punk rock.
PERSEPOLIS is an acclaimed but episodic animated movie for adults from France. Told in black and white flashbacks, the autobiographical story is about the experiences of an Iranian girl named Marjane, who grows up first in Iran under the Shah in the late 1970s and then in Venice, where her parents send her for safe keeping from the Muslim fanatics who take over Iran.
After spending some time in France, Marjane grows horribly homesick and returns to Iran to be with her family. There, she encounters new challenges from the strict Muslim clerics running that country. She finds ways around their repression, but eventually must decide whether to stay or leave.
PERSEPOLIS is told in an episodic fashion, so the movie lacks a strong narrative line to carry viewers past the movie’s minimalist black and white animation. Also, the movie has a politically correct, Neo-Marxist outlook toward freedom. In fact, the main person who inspires the heroine’s sociopolitical views about freedom is her Communist grandfather, imprisoned first by the Shah, then by the Ayatollah. Thus, although this content is not portrayed in a didactic propagandistic manner, it does lead to moral, theological and political confusion.
Using animation to talk about the social upheavals in Iran during the last 30 years is very creative. It’s too bad, therefore, that the story has such a boring narrative structure. Also, the movie’s sociopolitical analysis is superficial at best, and Marxist at worst.
Artists who want to make political and social statements should study political science and world history in depth beforehand if they don’t want to look foolish to the true experts in the field. Of course, most movie reviewers, not to mention Hollywood executives, lack such proper training themselves, which probably is why PERSEPOLIS is getting more attention and acclaim than it truly deserves. Hopefully, with God’s help, the problems in Iran and the rest of the Middle East can be cured, or at least greatly minimized, by an increased understanding of, and love for, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s biblical will for individuals and the society in which they live. True liberty under Jesus Christ opposes legalistic oppression, but it does not countenance moral rebellion and licentiousness.