With all the pain, carrying inside her, she tries killing herself (but god had other plans for her). MS: This has a lot to do with geographyyou know, I come from the north of Iran. So I tried to forgive, but I realized when I started writing this book that I was full of so much hate and angerI wanted to kill everyone! EW: And do you think it was just that sometimes you need to be pushed to the edge or . So it is up to us. She is cheated on by her boyfriend, and in misery, she starts to live on the streets. I talked to her about it when I was 28 and she, of course, told me I was very stupid to think like that. So as this mentality and culture changes, then we can have real hope. Iraq and Tehran start throwing bombs at each other. EW: I love that and I completely agree with you about humor. I needed four stitches! Ad Choices. You can be a woman or a man, whatever you want to be. So Uncle Anoosh tells your younger self in the book: Its important that you know. MS: Oh, yeah! But I think its possibly a question of generations as well. We are too stupid for that. MS: When I was a teenager, I always had the latest music. Cant she just be her? All the essentials: top fashion stories, editors picks, and celebrity style. The author who we read before Persepolis was English comedian Caitlin Moran, who wrote a book called How to Be a Woman. And also, when I write a book, do you really think that I then read my book and think, Oh! Hence, they decide to go on their ways, Marjis grandmother , who has always been her support system helps her in every way she could, also confusing that she herself has gone through this. If you believe in the slow evolution of culture? A failed relationship there exacerbated her sense of alienation and contributed to a downward spiral that left her homeless and using drugs. That was just before Persepolis, and I called the ambulance and just say, I cannot breathe. So they come and put me in aluminum paper like a roasted chicken . Updates? Full stop. And so I said, I am losing even myself, and then decided Okay, from now on Im going to change myself, and if I change myself, I have changed a little bit of this world. I cannot just sit and be depressed because, you know, Im going to die. And it is changing. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Cond Nast. Sometimes at film festivals, people will say, Oh, we have to vote for her because she is a woman. And I just think, Shes a human being who has made a film, so if her film is good well give her a prize. In America, you might see bad behavior, and they respond, Oh, its such masculine behavior. You just think, Have you really never seen a nasty woman? I am against the idea of communities. Its an area where we plant rice, where the women work beside each other, bent over all day. How are you feeling at the moment? MS: There are parts of me that will always be Iranian. During this time, both she and Reza have heated arguments with the cops, who keep warning them, against meeting, until they get married. Youre ignorant, and maybe you should know a little bit better. Can we go backward and start their lives again? Satrapi was the only child of Westernized parents; her father was an engineer and her mother a clothing designer. And if I want to say, I want to dedicate my life to my work, I am called an ambitious bitch! I am sad. Now Im like, Ah, okay, I am sad. And so it disappears faster because I am not scared of it anymore. And then I wrote Persepolis. That might be the case, but because of Facebook governments found people and were able to put them in jail, too. If we have more educated women, then we have more educated societies. These are things that I cannot change. When someone says, Where are you from? or Are you French?where do you sit with all of those types of questions? Because no matter how much they looked at me, they could not get into my mind. If I can be not too nasty a human being, then I think that is good. So that today two-thirds70 percent!of students in Iran are girls. And now, time again flies by and this young teenager who was once a little girl has all grown up, again and turned into a pretty young lady. I was a childI dont know why my parents thought it was a good idea to show me this as a child, but in any case they did. And this is not a good thing. Or is it my female condition? So there are so many different things that I like from different places. So whatever you dont write, you draw and vice versa. Are people surprised that you, as a woman, wrote a comic book? . She returned to Tehrn at age 19, studied art, and, after a short-lived marriage, moved back to Europe in 1993. Today the thing is that the laws are much more anti-women. The cartoon format, used by her, also tries to transfer her messages in a different way. Its extremely exciting. That is where we are going. I want you to study and to be economically independent., Now, as a child I thought she was actually telling me: You are extremely ugly, you are never going to make it. MS: Also, I think that we blame lots of things on men and how nasty they are, but there is also the role of women. I try. How can you disrespect prostitutes by telling them, Oh, your job is shit. Nobody becomes a prostitute because they think its fun. To trick counterfeiters, Benjamin Franklin deliberately misspelled Pennsylvania when printing official currency for the American colony. But at the same time, we are far from being equal. First you have to have economic independence of women, and then we can talk about the freedom of women. . My story was different. And that is exactly what is happening in the world that we live in. You have given me new oomph and I really appreciate that. From her excited childhood days to growing up stage, in Iran, her battle to fit herself during her days in Europe to her troublesome days in returning back home. This means when someone does something to you physically that you dont want, then you have the right to defend yourself physically. But the culture of our society is very much based on the religious culture. The story is that Eve had so much more guts, so she tried because she was curious, and Adam followed her like he was a sheep. Login with your associated social account, Download Persepolis The Story of a Childhood PDF eBook. Sometimes I am depressedin my pajamas and I put on sad music and start crying. And I can only decide that if I train it. In black and white, you can make any drawing, you put a little color here and there and it looks nice, it is immediately evident whether its good or its not good. I would simply say: I am a human being who tries to do things as she likes, and shes a very, very lucky person to be able to do that. Please make sure you have typed your email address correctly. You realize it is much more difficult to becomehyperto yell, to shout, and to kill yourself if you think about it. I love that Americans really want to be nice. Ignorance gives you this confidence in yourself. Another big success! In the studio, there was a man who actually told me to write them down. I always thought that comics were really work for monks, because it is obsessional workframe after frame. . So I loved what you said about independent thinking. So that was the beginning of the comic book. You have flagged this story. MS: As a literary genre, comics are really connected to fine arts. And then I look at myself crying in the mirror, so it makes me cry even more because Im so sad for myself. At that point I am not a director anymore, but I become the spectator of my own film. So I had to go very mellow on the other side because otherwise the rhythm of reading would be destroyed. There are many things I like very much in the French people: the sense of rebellion, the fact that they are never happy. Why do we have to always define ourselves by somebody else? I dont care if you get married or not. All the damage caused. I read a lot of books written by men talking about women who I cannot identify with. I ended up in a shared studio in Paris because I could not pay the rent on a studio myself. . And there are things that I want to do, there are things that I want to eat, there are laughs that I have not had. And she asked me, In your book you draw that its you and your parents in the apartment . After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, her familys Western way of life drew the attention of Iranian authorities, and by 1984 her parents had decided to send her to Austria to attend school. Thats the only way that I have learned itI have never taken one course of English. Thats really great. Its okay to be depressed. Where did this empowered line of women from which you descended come from? And I just thought, Lady, its not because youre ignorant that I am lying. Christianity, Judaism, every religion. What keeps you going? Even though its not easy for you, even if you dont understand it all. How much did this idea inform the writing of Persepolis? Its just so fast that you have information, then you have new information, and then there is something else on Twitterit all means there is no time for reflection! The people who are against the brothel are moralists. And from the moment you understand something, its not that you justify it, but you can analyze it better. And I also think there was something inconsistent in the argument, which was that they should be emancipated. If you were to start narrating it in sequence, you might get vague ideas, as to what happened when, you might not be able to clearly remember, exactly what happened. Of course not, I have written and created it all by myself. You do not have an account with Catapult. Its enabled me to come from Iran, to live in France, and then make an American movie about a serial killer. I always thought that what I had to say was too much; it was complicated with lots and lots of words. To get the same degree of excitement here, Id have to go and rob a bank. For your book club, I do understand. The thinking seems to have been that because you go and throw bombs in Afghanistan and put in Coca-Cola machines that it suddenly becomes a democracy. I hate that. What do you think made your mother so empowered? . Some Iranian millennials are finding refuge in it and using it as a way to express themselves freely. So you let your emotions go. I feel completely energized and empowered as a result of having spoken to you. So therefore a woman is badwe are bad. You were the opposite of boring. And actually the most important thing I learned in school was how to think, how to decide for myself, how to have an opinion, how to go away and find the answers for things and compare and contrast different answers that people were giving me. The rest of the time, just behave like a human being. Satrapi created the illustrated childrens books Les Monstres naiment pas la lune (2001; Monsters Are Afraid of the Moon) and Le Soupir (2004; The Sigh). Whats coming through, and what I really identify with, is that you really believe in human beings autonomy and their own innate power and ability to govern their circumstances. I need to see and be with other people. Our family memory must not be lost. It isnt, believe me. She also directed the English-language dark comedy The Voices (2014), which concerned a man who, having failed to take his medication, becomes a murderer. They just held my hand for a while through life.
Was I less free in my mind? EW: Why has it gone up? It isnt. I speak English because I watch films. The more you forbid something, the more people want to see it. No, I wasnt. You know, I turned 30, and in all the interviews I was asked, Do you have a child?, Well, because I dont want to be anybodys mother.. If you dont use it, it shrinks, and if you use it, it grows.
Ok, now let me ask you a few questions, if you were to describe your life, how would you do it? Before, when I was younger, I would worry: Oh, my God! EW: Are your comics available in Iran? Everybody wants to be elected in two years, which is very short to make change. MS: If I had not had the four stitches in my head I would have never written it! So these are the parts of my culture that I like. I mean, are all British people the same? Its not an abstract notion anymore. . Lets construct this world together. But when I make a film there is always an actor who suddenly does something that was not expected, and Im extremely surprised. MS: I went through a big depression! .
EW: A really good challenge. For example, at the moment theres this huge debate about whether prostitution should be decriminalized and legalized. As a reader, everything is imposed on you. And so I am basically a human being who works with what she likes and am a lucky person because of that, I guess. Everything that happens to do with the brain has the power to change your life. Why is it increasing?
. Everyday violence was a regular thing.
If I use color, it has meaning people read. So was her, also. They were humiliated and extremely poor. On the other hand, who am I to say to somebody who wants to put a scarf on her head, Dont do it?
Anyway, Kendra, from my book club, wants to know: There are many different opinions about the hijab and Islam in regard to feminism; do you feel that either or both the hijab and Islam are anti-feminist?. On one hand, I hate the veil because they force me to put it on my head and I hate it. I never believed in it, I refused it, and I rejected it because it is insane. This belief is so profound; it is so deep within human beings that when they wanted to ban the veil in France, for example, they thought that I would be with them: Yeah, yeah! But when a woman is uneducated and is not actually economically independent, you can have all the rights to divorce that you want and it doesnt make a huge difference. And therefore I have friends who come from all over the world. Im exactly like them and that is where they havesucceededto make me like them. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Marjane-Satrapi. Do you think that this still applies? That is the nature of the human being. Were a family of three people, my parents and me, so . MS: The only person who stops you from being free is ourselves. So one person youthe readercan identify with; a nation you cant identify with. EW: So therefore do you think that making art, interacting with culture, is the most revolutionary, the most impactful thing that you can do as a human being? Any woman, any person, any human being who has respect for women also has to respect the prostitute. Women are still used. If I dont see people with my eyes, I cannot smell them, I cannot hear their voice, I cannot know them. Confirmation link sent to your email to add you to notification list for author Jeff Teague. MS: You know, Emma, I come from Iran, and I never learned any English. I try to think about those peoplethe good people, who are actually the majority of people. And we are not victims. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. I have to tell you that when I was a child, my mum used to tell me all the time: Oh, you should never count on your face; count on your intelligence. We have to be more intelligent and say, We will make life together with you, we will collaborate, and lets be together. In comics, with the illustration, you write with your drawing, with your images.
It actually presented a really difficult challenge: How am I going to make it work in only black and white? The woman on the other hand was supposed to cook, play the piano, sew. Do you think life is any easier for women now than it was when you were a child? What events would be more important to you? Why cant we just be us? Emma Watson: In Persepolis you show the relative freedom that women experienced in Iran in the 1970s compared to the strict laws that governed their behavior after the revolution. So this society works at half speed or less. We should not have the limit imposed on us. So if everybody were to make this little effort just to think, I truly believe it would cool people down. Do you think women, and particularly Western women, have blind spots in ways that we are oppressed? I end up falling down, all the way down the stairs, and I broke my head. I dont think so. Why do we think that we have to get married to be happy? You can draw anything and if you put a little color here and there, it will look nice. I have lots of hope for myself yet. Marjane Satrapi, (born 1969, Rasht, Iran), Iranian artist, director, and writer whose graphic novels explore the gaps and the junctures between East and West. But if you dont study, were going to give you shit! Okay, we cannot run in the same category in the Olympic Games because we dont have the same muscles. It got to the point where I simply thought, I have to put it in a book, because while I like to talk, constantly repeating myself was so tiring. In other countries, you have to have her naked. EW: You did your comics in saturated black ink, and Im interested: Why did you choose that? I like to be alone, but not for too longso to work with others? MS: I found myself saying the same bullshit over and over and facing so many prejudices. In religion. Hungarian-born animator, director, and producer, South African dramatist, actor, and director. Before the war even happened in my country, I watched a movie called The Deer Hunter. However, that will obviously never happen. So she really believed that we had these big tents, with 26 of us living beside one another And she was actually accusing me of lying! It really is very terrifying and horrific, one of their neighboring Jewish family, passed away in the attack. And I wrote a couple of pages and I was like: Fuck, Im exactly like them. After going through so many ups and downs, Marji, again wishes to live on her own, so that she can live the life she wants to. You know, that film changed my life. There are the parts of my culture that are extremely traditional: Men have to do certain things and women have to be virgins and all of thatfuck that. Bullshit!
When did you know that you wanted to write your memoir as a graphic novel? EW: Often comic books are perceived to be for men or within a mans world, and Im interested in your experience with that. I listen to music, it changes my life. So I have only this one life to live. One week after it was released, we had it on tapes. If we dont take this time we head directly into war. Well, I dont think its a good idea because you make something that is actually a symbol of repression into a symbol of rebellion. But you look around and you see a society that does not say that men and women are equal. Because I had so much pain there that my breath came back and I decided: Now you have to do something. And intelligence is something you share with some people in the world that is completely independent of the nationality, color, height all of that. I dont even think its a question of conviction. Is film where you see your future? Its okay to be sad. So I tried to understand and describe my experience, which was important because people know so little. MS: I just walk. We should ask ourselves the real questions we face. It is not a handicap to be a woman, frankly. You shouldnt even try to be cute . I would really prefer change for good now, rather than having all this revolution where spilled blood just brings more spilled blood.