Persepolis is set during the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a time when the veil is forced on women, and thousands of dissidents are imprisoned. Marjane (Mastroianni) is an outspoken nine-year-old girl who questions the religious fundamentalist laws that have gripped her country. Worried for her well-being, Marjane's mother (Deneuve) and father (Abkarian) make the difficult decision to send her away to Vienna to attend school. Now living in Austria, where everyone is free to do and think what they wish, Marjane is left alone to endure the problems of a typical teenager. Based on the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. (Stacey Pendry)
Special features include the 30-minute The Hidden Side Of Persepolis and nine-minute Behind The Scenes Of Persepolis featurettes, a 29-minute Cannes Press Conference Q & A, three selected scenes with commentary by cast and crew, four Animated Scene Comparisons, and previews.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.83:1 DVD doesn't show great detail in the animation, but it is obviously a decision made by the filmmakers. Stylistically, the animation appears very dated. There is little in the way of shadow definition in the animation, and black levels are somewhat elevated. Contrast is balanced well, though, and the mainly black-and-white image shows a solid gray scale. When colors are present, they are saturated well. Some stairstepping and a digital harshness can distract at times, and edge enhancement is noticeable. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows deep black levels and improved resolution over the DVD, and the solid gray scale helps create a dimensional-looking picture. Colors really pop when used. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features a good use of the surround channels for music and effects, but the mix is rather unambitious. Music sounds crisp and natural, and the French dialogue sounds warm. The English track, however, sounds bright and harsh in comparison. Deep bass should be deeper, especially in the war scenes and airplane flybys, and bass definition is generally lacking. The LFE channel is incorporated well at times, but is frequently overlooked. Dynamic range is solid, and there is good channel separation around the room. But occasional hiss and other distortions are audible in the English encoding. The French and English Dolby TrueHD lossless encodings on the Blu-ray Disc sound superb, with good fidelity and dynamic range. The French dialogue has a strange echo audible, though.(Danny Richelieu)