Persepolis received positive reviews for both the novel as well as the film in the states. Receiving positive feedback from both the NY Times and a “10 out 0f 10” from the Guardian, Marjane’s story was being received with open arms. In fact, despite the early release in France, is was the American sales that made the top of the list for the novel. However, for Iran it was regarded as an insult. The portrayal of the revolution in the graphic novel was seen as unjust and skewed, offending Iran officials to the point where they successfully convinced Thailand to drop the film from the Bangkok International Film Festival and banned the film from viewing within the country by law. While the government had done its work to ban the film in Iran, the population had gained access to the media by bootleg downloads. In an interview with the NPR, Iranians that had seen the film spoke out with their reactions but retained an anonymous profile due to the legal consequences that the movie carried.
It seems that despite the government’s best attempts, the people of Iran find the film and main character relatable. They relate to her struggles, her need for individuality in a world that seemed to want anything but, and find a comfort in the film. It offers an insight to young children with paths similar to the one Marjane was one and delivers a hope that may not have been provided before.
The NPR story of Persepolis' influence in Iran is available for listening HERE