“Research Blog on Persepolis,” Emily Stearns (2011) — Inquiry 2

[These were originally posted on this Student’s Blog.]

14 Feb Inquiry 2 Source


“Children Of The Revolution”

I found this article very useful and interesting. I want to learn more about Persepolis as a film. I also want to find out the differences in the graphic novel and the film. This article has quotes from Marjane Satrapi that I found very helpful to understanding the book more, and to maybe understand what the film is like. Marjane said, “It’s not easy to squeeze 16 years of life into 90 minutes..”  This shows that it must have been hard to depict her life in such a short amount of time. She explains in this article that many people think the color in the film represents Europe and Iran is black and white, but that is a definite misconception. She explains that color does not represent happiness to her but it is a code to make people understand the use of flashback. This was very interesting to me because it would be hard to use flashback in a film with all black and white. I also learned in this article that Persepolis won awards, including the Jury Prize. After this award a culture advisor to the Iranian President made a statement that the film was, “an unreal picture of the outcomes and achievements of the Islamic revolution.” This was surprising to me because it was also hard for the film to be released even at a Film Festival. Satrapi also stated that, “In order to understand what is happening you have to have some historical depth,” This shows how important the historical background in Persepolis is. I’m hoping to use the controversy in Iran to talk about the film. I think this is useful and interesting information to include in my paper.


16 Feb Source 2


“Persepolis Banned In Lebanon”

I found this source interesting because I have been looking into if Persepolis has been banned anywhere, and the reasons behind it. I found this quote particularly interesting.. “It is clear that … General Wafiq Jizzini is close to Hezbollah and he doesn’t want to allow such a movie, which he believes gives an image of Iran as being worse off than it was before the shah…” It was said by officials that this film was very offensive to Iran and Muslims. It seems as if General Jizzini is protecting Lebanon and does not want more confrontation or an upset in the people. He also stated that, “I can go back on my decision, I respect freedom of expression,” he said.”


I also found an article on the Wall Street Journal about more information about the Cannes FIlm Festival. The Iran Farabi Foundation said, “in an unconventional and unsuitable act,” the Cannes festival has “chosen a movie about Iran that has presented an unrealistic face of the achievements and results of the glorious Islamic Revolution,” Satrapi said she respects freedom of expression and criticism which she seems very confident in herself.


I also found information of an interview with Satrapi. She stated that she has not been back to Iran since before the movie was released in France in 2000. If she were to return, she’s not sure what might happen. “The problem is, there’s no rule book. They don’t tell you, ‘No, you can’t do this.’ But they throw you in jail for doing it. So I prefer not to go.” I don’t really know how I would incorporate this information in my paper, but I think this could be an interesting direction to my paper also.



18 Feb Project Proposal

For Inquiry two, I plan on writing my essay on how Western countries received Persepolis. I plan to approach this essay by continuing my research on if this was related to any politics. I also would like to start to really research how Satrapi felt about how people perceived the film and if she was surprised or worried about the reception. I would like to know how she reacted to the banning of her books and how she ended up getting it published. I also really want to dig deeper into the banning of the book and why it was banned in certain countries. I believe this will help me to understand why different countries perceived the film and book differently, especially Western countries. I do not believe I will run into any bias towards this topic, because I would like to know the reasons why it was banned in places such as Lebanon and Iran. I do not want to let my personal beliefs of the film get in the way of my paper.  If I follow up on all my research and dig deep into this paper I believe I will have a successful paper. The research I have found will really help me give examples and support to my paper. Articles from Time Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal will be a big help to my paper. I also plan on using quotes from Satrapi and other view points of the film and book. Arnold from Time Magazine described the Persepolis as “Sometimes sad, and sometimes funny, but always keeps you interested.”  Being interested in this topic will help me write this paper, and I’m anticipating working hard on this paper.


22 Feb Writer’s Memo

I have learned that critical and historical analysis was harder then expected. It was difficult to make sure I had a reasonable site or article that was providing correct and useful information. I figured I would find sites and information right away, but it was a little harder then I figured it would be. Many of the sites that came up were not very useful to my topic. I realized that my topic may be harder to find information on then I thought, and I figured I should change my topic. After talking to Melissa, I realized I needed to dig deeper into my topic and find other ways to look up articles and information. I have learned that the research process definitely takes patience. If you do not find something right away, you just have to keep at it and not give up on it right away.  I decided not to give up on my topic because I was interested in my topic about Persepolis. A strategy that worked well in the research process was digging deeper into my topic and starting with smaller things that led up to my topic. This worked well because the information I was finding that was leading me to new ideas and new sources. Some strategies that did not work well were starting out too broad. When I started out broad, I was led into too many different directions and I had no idea how to start researching a specific topic. It was frustrating and took much longer than needed when I did this. Next time, I will definitely be more specific with my ideas and start small. I think I need to improve on reading the sites I find more thoroughly. I skimmed one of the sites, then looked back at it at a later time and found very useful information that I could of used at a earlier time. The bubbl.us map I created helped a little. It helped me get my ideas down where I could see them, but I think it was too early in the process for me to map out all the details I wanted to incorporate in my paper. Maybe if we started it at a later time it would have been more helpful.