When you talk about cartoons, your mind generally wanders towards the realm of Walt Disney, songs and children. Persepolis deals with children too, and yes, there are references to songs but the story at the heart of this very beautiful movie is far from juvenile and far from the world of fantasy. Based on co-director Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical comics, it tells the story of her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. An irresistably funny little gilrl, Marjane is a fan of punk music and lives quietly with her family until politics and the clerical system, that would in time change Iran, comes into her life. To protect her, her parents send her to Austria where she discovers the western world. A compilation of extremely cynical and funny scenes, this movie is also a way of discovering Iran’s history through the eyes of those who lived and made it. Far from a moralistic movie,Perseplois brilliantly succeeds in mixing politics and real clever entertainment by playing with cliches and parodying the political speeches of both the fanatical puritans in Iran and the fanatical hippies in Europe. The success of the movie is in part down to the the amazing performances and the vocal cast: real-life mother and daughter Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni, and Danielle Darrieux as the grandmother. These three fabulous French actresses contribute significantly to making their characters incredibly lively. Persepolis has been a huge success internationally and should do for people’s perceptions of Iran, what the Kite Runner did for Afghanistan – that is, not consider them as part of some comicbook axis of good and evil, but as real people bound by very real situations.