Very Honest, Powerful film goes some dark places based on real tragedies.
Persepolis is a very unique film which is hard to properly describe.
While the official synopsis says it's about the director's experience growing up in war-torn Iran, that's only half true. As a whole, the film is about her entire childhood and early adult life, and how the political climate in her native home effected her life even after she left the country.
Because of this setup, the film goes beyond just talking about war and it's effects, but also dives deeper into the human condition, and other struggles people go through even in more stable parts of the world, such as depression, love troubles, and culture wars.
As far as messaging goes, the film has a pretty positive takeaway, focusing on staying true to yourself and not letting what people think about you change who you are. There is a lot of talk about politics but for the most part the film never really tries to sell the audience on any ideology, rather just uses it to explain why certain characters interact the way they do.
There are some good role models in the film, Marjane's parents and family are shown to be genuinely caring and just wanting what's best for her, especially in the early parts of the film when she's still a child.
Marjane herself is not written as being an idealized or incredible person, despite her having the opportunity to do so. She chose to acknowledge her own character flaws, which while not immediately connected to the story itself, is a good attitude to have.
Violence is not especially intense or frequent, but the concepts and images presented are pretty grisly. While more typical war violence is shown from a distance, (tanks, anti air guns, etc) more brutal or reprehensible acts of violence, like police firing on and killing protestors, bombings killing civilians, and even blindfolded "Martyrs" being forced to run into minefields are given focus. Young Marjane is portrayed as having a problem with aggression, hurting or trying to hurt other kids on a few occasions. While not visually violent, tragic concepts such as death due to illness also make appearances, and the film's tone can become very dark at times.
Language is very frequent, with words like "B****rd, S**t, D**m, and other insults being spoken almost every other line in some scenes. There is a single usage of the F word.
Sex is talked about pretty frequently, but very little physical intimacy is depicted. In one scene a naked couple is shown in bed, with no privates shown, one character frequently makes crass sexual jokes pertaining to the size of men's privates. Sex is implied off-screen, and the concept of rape is brought up on a couple of occasions.
Drinking and smoking are both depicted on multiple occasions, including some usage of Marijuana. One character attempts suicide by overdosing on medication.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking