I can’t believe I’m already writing my “M” post for the A to Z Challenge! I’ve got another cartoonist (I think this is the last one) for today’s Lady I Love: Marjane Satrapi. I chose Marjane Satrapi for today for two very interesting reasons: first, she grew up in Iran under the Muslim fundamentalists who took power after the Iranian Revolution; and second, she’s an outspoken woman who lived to tell about it.
Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran in 1969 and lived in a middle-class family with highly educated parents in Tehran until 1983. During her childhood, she was rambunctious, strong-willed and outspoken, and her family feared that her behavior (and mouth) would get her into serious trouble with the authorities, who had strict behavioral codes for women. So, her family arranged to have her study in Vienna for high school. She returned to Tehran after a near-deadly bout of pneumonia and stayed there for several years, but now lives in Paris with her husband.
Satrapi’s childhood and teenage years are detailed in her autobiographical graphic novels, Persepolis 1 and 2. I loved them because she grew up in an entirely different world than I did (geographically, at least, which was fascinating in and of itself), but for all those differences, I could see ways in which she was no different from many of us growing up: questions, conceptions of right and wrong, repression (in her case the government, in my case, parents), and general teenage angst. Half a world away, and it was like I knew her!
In 2007, Persepolis was made into a feature film and debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2008, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, making Marjane Satrapi the first woman nominated for the category. In 2011, her graphic novel “Chicken with Plums” was made into a live action movie as well. There are several interviews with Marjane Satrapi about her work, but I found this one and this one to be very interesting – if you have the time, check them out. And, below I’ve included the trailers for both Persepolis and Chicken with Plums. Perhaps you will put them on your “to watch” list!