Monday, July 11, 2011

Book and movie review: Persepolis

Image from here
One of the books I'm planning on teaching next year is Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji.  (I reviewed the book in this post.)  I found a unit that another teacher had done that focused on middle eastern culture.  It includes Rooftops of Tehran and several other books and movies that I hadn't read or watched.  One of the movies is Persepolis, which is baesd on the graphic novel of the same name by Marjane Satrapi.  The book/movie have been on my to read/watch list for a long time so I decided to check them out.  

I started with the book.  I gave it a a chance.  I read for about twenty minutes and managed to decide that it was not a book that I would be able to teach.  There are way too many topics that are covered for me to be able to do them all justice.  

Since I knew I wouldn't be teaching the book, I moved on to the movie.  I figured that it might be easier for my students to understand and would better hold their attention.  I did enjoy the fact that the movie was in French because I think it's so pretty to listen to, but I know that it's really hard to get my students interested in a movie that has subtitles.  Since I figured I wouldn't be using the movie for class either, I decided to watch it and see what I thought of it.  I did find it interesting, but there were parts of it that I found really hard to follow, particularly trying to keep some of the characters straight because the movie was mostly in black and white so the characters had little distinction from one another.  I also thought there were parts of the movie that were way too strange.  The grandma was really blunt and opinionated, but there were several times when she talked about putting jasmine blossoms in her bra so that she would smell good.  Definitely something you wouldn't expect a grandma to be saying to her granddaughter.  The parts of the plot that dealt with the revolution and regime changes were glossed over in some parts and in others given such extreme detail that it was hard to follow.

Overall, I like the concept of the book and movie much more than the actual book and movie.  I would not watch the movie again and I would not recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. i love that you wrote on this. you have me interest in your previous review. i am going to follow that link. i am always looking for interesting books to teach and introduce to the teens at my table.

    hugs to you for this.


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