Iran-Resist/May 25, 2007
Marjane Satrapi has surprised Cannes, giving its patrons a treat on the very heels of the protests in Tehran: An animated movie called "Persepolis"!
“I think it’s a humanistic film, one that goes against all the stereotypes about Iran”. What exactly she understands by “countering the stereotypes about IRAN” remains to be defined. In fact she appears to confuse the name “Iran” with Her rulers.
What are the stereotypes about the regime of the Mollahs? Bearded men wearing turbans, Mollahs who force women under the veil. In fact, she is right: She does break the stereotypes, for instead of underlining the horror of this discrimination, she ridicules it.
The festival-goers have even said, while leaving the screening, that they found the film to be “hilarious”. Yet, nine years ago, Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful had made a scandal for evoking humor from Shoah.
In spite of the fact that Benigni’s film was not meant to be hilarious, but rather to convey a sense of tenderness and disenchantment, criticisms were numerous.
Satrapi, on the other hand, deliberately sought to make a hilarious film.
Among the images that follow, and which constitute the reality of the daily life of Iranians under the Mollahs, we would like to know which could be characterized as funny or hilarious? What kind of “humanist” would dare try to hide these horrors?
Satrapi, a deceiver seeking to evoke laughter to alleviate the conscience of Europeans, continued still: “You know, I am true lover of freedom and a true democrat who is open to all indignations, to all protests, to all criticisms, and I think that one can only build on criticism and the protest… You need open dialogue… ”. Much like an official of the Mollahs, always this insistence on the “dialogue”…
Satrapi replaces these horrors by a humor that freeze one’s blood. She substitutes the protestations by “dialogue”. Most terrible is that she says all this without the journalists raising an eyebrow. She lies by omission. She does not say that whereas in France women are free, in Iran they are in chains. According to her: “It is not because of low necklines or because one is free to dress as one likes that one has freedom to think and act… On the other hand, if one has freedom to think and act, one can get dressed as one wants.”