Who could have guessed that this blog would be all about movies? Not me. I’m very curious about this.
Persepolis. A film festival film presentation. I wonder what people, who have not lived in Iran, think of this brilliant animated account of a young Iranian woman’s life. I was impacted in a huge way, having lived in Iran just prior to the revolution in the late 70’s. I was drawn right back to a time I so loved, but did not entirely understand. I spoke very little farsi, but knew enough not to speak the Shah’s name in public. (I didn’t know enough not to try to nonchalantly wander my way up a road to his palace one night. Dumb. Fortunately though I wasn’t shot. I think they recognized I was innocently stupid.)
I recall the stories I heard, after the revolution, of how my Iranian friends could no longer go to a grocery store without the risk of being killed. Being safe at home in Canada, it was a hard vision to imagine. And a part of me justified that the information I was getting might be wrong. I learned very early on about the miscommunication of media internationally. Any traveller learns this, when their families are home sick with worry because of an event in the news… an event that, in some cases may be true but appears much worse because of media, or, in many cases, is entirely inaccurate.
Off on a tangent, now of media. Long after I left Iran the news reported that an earthquake had wiped out the entire population of Bandar Pahlavi on the Caspian Sea where I had lived. I was devastated. I thought of the milk man, the bread man, the mechanics.. those gentle and kind people who welcomed this strange little Canadian girl, who never wore a shador, and didn’t know better than to smile at all the men. (Women too, of course, but it was ‘wrong’ of me to smile at men)
Much later again, an Iranian family showed up at a garage sale I had. They had recently arrived in Canada. Lo and behold, I learned my little village had never been hit by an earthquake at all. Who knows how this became the news that it did, but I have a theory: The town had been named after the Shah’s family, then changed when the Pahlavi’s were ousted. Perhaps some communication denouncing the name of the village hit the news here as an earthquake. Literally. Perhaps a translation error, or a propaganda statement about the evils of the Pahlavi’s or… who knows?
Now I could go off on a major tangent about “what we believe to be true.” … a powerful topic for a coach. But for the moment, just for a moment, think of an issue or ongoing problem or conflict… think of situation that has weighed heavily on you for some time. What if you look at the origins of this weighty event, and imagine that some part of it isn’t true….some part is only what you ‘believed’ to be true. What if you HAD to find that part. Like, ummm, if you don’t create an answer, then chocolate, all chocolate, would disappear off the face of the earth. (funny that I’d choose that… I’m allergic to chocolate. Probably me just being safe. If you don’t find an answer and all chocolate disappears, I’m okay with that. snicker) … so, what would your answer be?
Back to movie: When you thirst for knowledge and you finally know you are getting the truth, you are like a sponge wanting to absorb it all. This was me tonight at the movie. Not just a ‘good’ story.. finally an accurate one. All in an animated french film with subtitles. A touching story, a historical documentary, a cultural impression… all this in animation. Brilliant.
Now, I am honestly curious, what do the rest of you think about this movie? How did it impact you?