Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rights Reel: Catching up with Marjane Satrapi

Checking in with Marjane Satrapi, author of the graphic novel Persepolis, her tale of growing up during the Iranian revolution which we enjoyed a few years back, it seems the animated-film version of the comic was shown in Tunisia recently and not everyone was happy about it. Protestors objected to a scene in which God is depicted teaching Satrapi about forgiveness. The Guardian reports,
Police arrested around 50 Islamists before they could reach the offices of the Nessma private television channel, which broadcast Persepolis on Friday. "Three hundred people attacked our offices and tried to set fire to them," Nessma chairman Nebil Karoui told AFP.
Conservative Muslims have become increasingly vocal in Tunisia since the fall of long-time president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali following an uprising in January. However, the main Islamic party condemned the demonstration. Ennahda, which is expected to do well in elections for a constitutional assembly in a fortnight's time, described the incident as "isolated" and said it should not spark concern.
In happier news for the Satrapi, she has a new film out in Europe (no US release date that I can find yet) based on her book Chicken with Plums.  Variety likes it:
What Satrapi and Paronnaud have really achieved is an evocation of a lost world, much as they did in "Persepolis." They've beautifully re-created the fiercely proud, Western-leaning life of the Persian middle class of the 1950s... 
Check out the trailer:



Meanwhile, there's another Iranian comic, a sort of Persepolis: The Next Generation, called Zahra's Paradise, we may want to read in 2012:
Set in the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent elections of 2009, Zahra’s Paradise is the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young protestor who has vanished into an extrajudicial twilight zone. What’s keeping his memory from being obliterated is not the law. It is the grit and guts of his mother, who refuses to surrender her son to fate, and the tenacity of his brother, a blogger, who fuses tradition and technology to explore and explode the void in which Mehdi has vanished.
Read sample chapters at zahrasparadise.com. Reza Aslan's (No god but God) Aslan Media Group is discussing it this month. You can participate via Good Reads or Aslan Media Book Salon.
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