Persepolis in Madrid


Tommorow is a national holiday in Spain, so it was a good night to go out.  A web banner on a national newspapers website reminded me that today was the release date for Marjan Sertrape's Persepolis in Spain.  So I decided to go to the theatre and watch it.  I had just said goodbye to my landlord after paying her 1/3 of my salary for rent. So I hoped watching the movie Persepolis would ease up the rent blues!!  It didn`t.




Before leaving my studio apartment I searched the web to see what theatres are showing the movie. It turned out that only a handfull secondary theatres were screaning it.   I was also expecting a packed room given that tommorow is a holiday. To my surprise the theatre was more than half empty. 

It is very unfortunate, but apparently the word "Iran" turns people off. This is the only explanation I can think of for the empty theatre.

I'm not going to review the movie. I'm sure that there are lots of reviews out there.  To me, just seeing Marjan's black and white drawings on the big screen was worthy of the 7Euros that I paid.  The drawings become particularly nice in the segments were Iranian old history is being recreated and Marjan draws outdoor iranian qajar scenaries.

Segments of the movie are too "Iran" heavy for a non iranian public. I mean imagine if you went to see a movie and they talk to you for 20 minutes about the history of Bellarus or Kongo or someplace that you can't relate to.

The movie has some brillant moments and some segments of it are outstanding. I  do recommend it. But don't expect to feel cheered up by this movie particularly if you have any iranian background.  Marjan's movie is correct and needed. It reviews our history for the past 30 years and at the end of the day these past 30 years consit of Mollahs, murderers, vandals, depression, Islam and more Islam, covered-up women and immigration.

So it's not surprising that the theatre was more than half empty. Even though Marjan's movie is valid, people are turned off by Islam, covered-up women, ayatollahs and prison cells.  These are not topics that have people rushing to the theatre.

In one of the passages of the movie, Marjan is asked were is she from. She feels ashamed to say Iran.  Funny thing, after the movie I went to a bar and I was asked the "where was I from"!  I declined to give my usual complicated answer which includes the Spain, US and Iran in its answer and just said I didnt want to talk about it.   It simply feels stressfull to say Iran. What is the first image that comes to their minds? Ahmadinejat, War, some mullah, Islam and the veil and people being hanged in the street.  Well, I'm non of those and don't want to be associated with them.


So anyway go see the movie, but know that it can bring out some complicated feelings in you.


By the way thank you Marjan for mentioning the 1988 Iranian hollocaust in the movie.







more from