I recently watched Persepolis, a French-Iranian film based on the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi with the same name. The film was is an autobiographical cartoon about Satrapi’s life living in Iran through a revolution and a war, living in Germany as an Iranian teen, moving back to Iran after the war ended, and eventually moving to France as an adult. Satrapi’s reasoning for creating the film was to show that the Iranian people are a diverse group who do not all portray the stereotypes that are assumed by people throughout Europe and in America. The country was divided with religious and political ideals, but outside countries focused only on the religious extremists who held incredibly sexist and oppressive views. Like the issues Spivak described with British people’s views on sati, reasons that could explain the practices of the people were essentially ignored so the white man could swoop in and save the people (mostly women) of color. Ultimately, Satrapi was attempting to humanize her country and give the Iranian people a voice so more people could understand their point of view.

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