What makes the story even more powerful is the superb animation. Two-dimensional and for the most part in black and white, it nonetheless never feels less than thrilling, and just when I was finished shaking my head at some gorgeous and poetic flourish, there was another one. I haven’t seen a film that was this consistently innovative for a long time. And yet it didn’t feel showy, as if it were the latest CGI technology trying to draw attention to itself. I had the feeling of looking over the shoulder of an intensely talented artist doodling in her notebook while telling me the most incredible story.
Best of all, at a time when many people are thinking of Iran as a potential enemy, it’s crucial to see a human story from a place where the civilization is thousands of years old. There isn’t much history in the film, but what’s there is presented simply. I was left wanting the film to continue both backwards and forwards in time, and desperately hoping along with Satrapi that the future is brighter for the long-suffering people of Iran.