Tuesday, 21 April 2009


I watched Persepolis last week when it was broadcast on TV, because I had heard a lot of good things about the film. But I've got to say that I'm really disappointed. I just don't understand the fuss about this Oscar-nominated animated feature film, and therefore I would like to recommend a short animated film based upon similar themes that I found to be much more effective - Maryam Mohajer's And Life Went On.

Persepolis seems like a film trying to tell other people about the terrible impact war & revolution had on their lives; and although small parts of the film are quite effective at this, for me the story just dragged on and on for way too long with major parts of weak material, which ruined any impact that the shorter parts had.

On the other hand, Maryam Mohajer's And Life Went On is a short animated film, that uses a simple plot to effortlessly evoke very powerful reflections about the impact of war within the mind of the viewer.
It is a 6 minute film made at the Royal College of Art in 2007. The story is set in Tehran during the 1985 Iran/Iraq war, but I don't want to give away any more of the plot than that because when I saw it at the McLaren Awards in the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2008 I knew nothing about the film.
While I was watching And Life Went On at the Filmhouse I thought that the story was progressing slowly and felt quite mundane (just like Persepolis),but here (in this short 6 minute format),it works much better and genuinely built the film to a powerful climax.
I would even go so far as to say, albeit controversially, that And Life Went On was as effective as Saving Private Ryan for portraying the devastating effects of war!

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