What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this film -- an adaptation of graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi's critically acclaimed memoir about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution -- is animated, it's aimed at adults. There are many references to the atrocities (mostly executions and bombings) of life before, during, and after the revolution. Several scenes involve secret parties during which secular Iranians drink and smoke; as a teenager living in Europe, Marjane also drinks, smokes, tries hash, and sleeps with two guys (at one point, feeling suicidal, she also takes lots of pills). If teens are interested, they'll learn a lot about the harsh realities of life in an oppressive culture. It's worth noting that there are two versions of the film: The original is in French with subtitles; the other is dubbed in English.
- Families can talk about how "the West" is portrayed in the film. Why is American pop culture banned in Iran? What makes it threatening?
- How is Marjane's family different? How does Marjane "betray" her heritage once she's abroad? What did you learn about Iranian history and culture from the film?
- Do you think that animation was an effective way to tell Marjane's story? How would it have been different if it was live action?