Stylish, well executed and produced, but lightweight…
During the opening scene in Persepolis we see a taxi approaching Orly Airport in Paris and the air-traffic control tower rears priapically over the terminal building like – well, like a minaret over a mosque – and briefly I thought I might be in for a bit of a treat: a challenging comparison of the unspoken (and hypocritical) political oppression of the West seen through the prism of a refugee from another authoritarian state.
No such luck. I suspect the resemblance to a minaret was coincedental, for what then proceeded was a nicely executed, slickly produced, but fundamentally uninteresting account of what should have been a fascinating story.
I couldn’t help but compare this story – oppressed muslim girl gets out, goes to Europe, struggles with the freedoms of the West – with that of Ayan Hirsi in Infidel and The Caged Virgin, which was altogether more shocking, enlightening, challenging and uplifting.
As a result I sat quietly, enjoying the imaginative graphics and particularly the soundtrack, but wondering when the point was going to reveal itself. As the credits rolled (their sudden arrival came as quite a surprise) it still hadn’t, and even as I sit here hours later I remain mystified as to why all the effort, all the interesting (if somewhat hackneyed leftie) political and historical backdrop, to provide a backdrop for a pretty unremarkable personal story.