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Persepolis

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Originally posted by nomoresociety

“Since then, this old and great civilization has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. As an Iranian who has lived more than half of my life in Iran, I know that this image is far from the truth. This is why writing Persepolis was so important to me. I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists. I also don’t want those Iranians who lost their lives in prisons defending freedom, who died in the war against Iraq, who suffered under various repressive regimes, or who were forced to leave their families and flee their homeland to be forgotten. One can forgive but one should never forget. “ - Marjane Satrapi

This movie admittedly made me cry. What can I say besides I’m a sap for the concept of change and being unable to return to the way it was before. There is a lot that can be sad about this film. There is biting commentary on class and race throughout. Just due to time constraints I really will not be able to discuss it all. So please watch the movie and read the book. It will be worth it. Regardless, In this autobiographical flick we follow Marjane Satrapi through her childhood and early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution.

For now skipping straight to post Islamic revolution, Marjane is forced into a much more restrictive societal role. This is obvious visually with the forcing of the hijab on all women. Even those not Islamic or not believing in the tradition is not spared. This is done for the sake of the good men of the country. So they are not distracted by the women’s bodies. This completely ignoring the fact that the men’s fashion of the time was pants so tight you could see their underwear. While fighting with a professor about this same topic Marjane has a bit of a shocking wake up moments where she finally confronts how much bullshit she has been put through. She is proud to be Iranian. It is the country her family has fought and died for. But the country has turned to a bit of a dictatorship. In her class they take the time to have all of the students sit around and cut the Shahs face and name out of their history books. Hoping to erase the past, perhaps have their country forget about it and more easily submit to their wills. As a woman Marjane is now expected to dress ‘virtuous’. This boils down to nothing being visible in public sans hands and face. And Marjane complies. So one would think that she would be a good woman and would be safe from evil sinful eyes. Wrong, of course. For the audacity she has to be seen in public men seen to throw terrible threats at her with no regard. So even playing by the rule’s women cannot win this game. That is because it is not actually about the attire. It is a symbol of an ideology being forced on the women of a country. Women are depicted as taking them off as soon as they get into their apartments. This is also where they are able to speak freely, mostly of revolution.

Marjane does however learn some rules of the society she has been thrusted into and how to play to win. When women threaten her for dressing like a slut, she breaks down in tears in order to avoid their wrath. This is very out of character for Marjane from my perspective. Never before has she been scared to say what she thinks or wants. So she must fall back on these more womanly tactics. Even so. most of the enforcement of this comes from other women in her community. It begins in schools, the female teacher stating something like ‘To cover is virtuous. Veil is freedom. Those who reveal indulge in sin. Veil honors soldiers.’Perhaps using the older women’s internalized sexism or maybe just looking like more trouble than its worth the women move along. As clever as it was problems of gender, race, or sexuality are society and systematic problems not the product of individual interaction. When she appears in a public place to meet with her boyfriend she is generally hassled/ harassed by man also in the park. Cops appear in the vicinity and Marjane knows if she does not act quickly, she will be in trouble for her, well I guess her existence in general. So she quickly whips up some tears and cry sot the cops about how that man made inappropriate and lewd comments about her. So the man is quickly punished and beaten. This public shaming is simply a product of cops general feeling of superiority and need to protect a weak woman. Because otherwise they are weak sinful women. That is not to imply that women somehow have an easier life. It is more that they are just denied certain rights and gain more restrictions. As frantically explained by Grandma Marjane needs to be more careful with cops. If she gets in trouble, she could also wind up worse than just dead. That is because it is illegal to kill a virgin. In order to get around this it is normal for cops to rape women and then execute them. So women are not even protected. It is no wonder her parents wanted her to leave for Paris for a few years. One wrong move could get her locked up like her uncle.

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Originally posted by assyrianjalebi

The hypocrisy can also be highlighted later in the film when Marjane is pulled over by cops for running because it makes her butt jiggle. To which she tells then to stop looking at her ass. She is covered head to tow in black cloth. Truly what else is she supposed to do. Government issued orders to suppress female sexuality and freedom is not a trend that has halted even in the modern day. Even in America the land of the free there is a need to claw rights out of the hands of lawmakers holding then back for selfish gain. Humans have this very gross ability to allow things to happen when they view someone or something as lesser than them. Women being lower class citizens makes it okay to talk to them like children or publicly punish them for not wearing their scarf correctly. Because dehumanizing is exactly what that is. They would rather her butt no shake as opposed to her arrive at school in time for her education. Some cops, professors, and men of power refuse to look her in the eye specifically because she is a woman. How can women get anything done if they cannot even enter and equal conversation with a cop. A cop is meant to be a protector but Marjane is in much more danger being anywhere by them.

What is really important abut this movie is Grandma. She is genuinely the coolest. She is quick on her feet, and ready to play the game, or game the system while also being aware of the larger nature of the situation. Grandma can work to help keep her family safe and instill hope in those around her. And the most touching thing is as Marjane grows she gets her grandmothers beauty mark. Grandma passing down her resilience and spirit is possibly what kept Marjane alive in Paris when she was homeless. People are simply a web of interconnected identities and ideologies wearing a skin suit. If all the young men and women can come together in secret speak easies then clearly the government is not representing the true will of its people. Like grandma all one can do to survive is to keep moving forward and keeping hope. She is a demonstration of how a divorcing of concepts like age and religiosity/ fanaticism can help mentor a better next generation. Women need to be free to divorce their husbands, make their own way in the world, and feel able to contribute to the government and community around them. For a girl to grow up is scary, but we do not have to face the revolution in our times alone.

I feel as though i have not done this movie justice. If you have the time please watch through it yourself. All of these issues are beautifully intertwined and are much better enjoyed in their complete context. So please find a copy of this and check it out.

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Last day of class. Time to get out of the house already. ⚡HELP⚡
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Belladonna of sadness

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Originally posted by ofallingstar

Belladonna of sadness was not my best idea for movies to watch with my mother. At some point in the seemingly eternal satanic orgy scene she asked me to skip because it was ‘killing her’. Even despite that Belladonna is a movie me and my mother will never forget, even if we wanted to. It is the animated Japanese telling of a French story of our beloved main character Jeanne. She is simply stated as a -beautiful- women having just gotten married to a -kind- man, Jean. As 1800’s peasants are ought to do, they ask the local lord permission to officially marry. Unfortunately, their offer is simply not enough to satiate the lord. Instead the lord decides his tribute will instead be the “Droit du Seigneur” or the “Right of the First Night”. First the lord asks if Jeanne is still pure. Skipping over any reply she could make her husband quickly jumps in to assure the lord she is pure. Jeanne’s body will come replace the several fattened animals usually requested by the lord in exchange for a lawful marriage. Jean is removed from the castle while Jeanne faces the worst. For the sake context this is happening in prerevolutionary France. Women held no power in the home or politics. Jeanne is what would be considered a passive citizen. Like a child she is expected to rely on a man to make choices on her behalf. But the system fails Jeanne, it fails spectacularly. As a farming class citizen even her husband is powerless. The feudal lord and church both fail her on her wedding night.

              Jeanne is freed from the confines of the castle and she runs home to her beloved. She is violated, powerless and needs someone to support her. She is cast out naked back to the village. So she goes to her new husband. He however seems completely uninterested in her needs. He is crying. From my interpretation and his actions it seems to be that his pride is wounded. He is ashamed of what happened to his wife and remains emotionally unavailable to her. Because he sees his troubles as more important than hers. A complete product of the time. He tells her to move on and forget it. That she should move on from this trauma that she had to face alone. He is so overcome by this shame that he attempts to choke Jeanne, only to soon give up and sob in the field. Jeanne spends her daylight hours being a supportive wife and trying to emotionally comfort her husband. Despite getting nothing in return from Jean. Jeanne wants power, she needs it in fact, in order to ‘save’ her husband.

              Once it is night and her husband sleeps, she finally feels she is allowed to express herself. She attempts to remain quiet of course, she would not want to wake her ‘ailing’ husband. Jeanne passively cries into the night about how she wants power, if only someone would save her. This became a big theme for me throughout the movie. Did Jeanne wish to have power for herself or to get help. This next scene imagery is smattered with phallic imagery as a small demon appears from Jeanne. She asks if this small imp is the devil, he responds that he is her. This is an odd dynamic with witches. They are viewed a heathens and scary independent women but also are implied to get their powers from the devil. Which is it? Are they crones who toil with their own power to ruin the lives of mortal men or are they ultimately controlled by a devil? I believe people make their own demons. Jeanne’s want for power manifested inside of her so strongly she either created a demon or she uses it as a device to explain her newfound abilities. The demon does comment that “It’s your fault I’m small”. Perhaps Jeanne had just found it within herself to begin questioning and fighting in a small way, so he manifested from that feeling.

But even so their interactions continue to blur any sureness within me. The demon asks for her soul. She refuses instead of her soul she offers the demon her body. It seems the only power women have in this time is to sleep with men. She is only able to get married under the authority of the lord and only able to make money to support her husband under the authority of this demon. . Jeanne oddly gets power from sex forced upon her, or with coerced consent. Jeanne as of yet in the movie seems a very passive player in her own story. This comes in contrast to the later liberated witch Jeanne but falls apart at the end. Jeanne begins making beautiful clothes And the narrator states through HER work HE is able to pay taxes. As war approaches Jeanne once more uses her body in order to become a money lender and financially support her Lord.

              As her Lord is off to war the Queen takes over temporarily as the authority. The Queen is extremely mad that Jeanne gets more respect than her. Jeanne is shown to be willing to work with the peasants and to sort out taxes. But the Queen just continues to hate her from up high in the castle. Jeanne is respected and loved amongst the towns people, even when Jean as smoothly transitioned to be a drunken slob. Jeanne seems to be thriving until one day the king returns and sees Jeanne being admired and has an assassin go and rip her clothes with a dagger. Instantly everyone turns on her. Women call her names and the men immediately charge at her to have their way with her. Despite her unending charity and other virtues they would turn on a woman in a second. Just the men and women having a glimpse of her body reverts them back to a mob. Her punishment is to be ‘Shame until god enters heart’, that task is left t the women of the village. Women cannot be competent leaders, The queen did not even how-to ability, or perhaps felt she had the power to get Jeanne killed until her husband returned. She was the acting Lord, but even so acted inferior to her counterpart.

              And Jeanne runs, once more betrayed by her husband selling out her location to the local authorities. But Satan takes her and hides her among the sharp brush, of course making sure it also rips her clothes of completely. Jeanne finally begins to see the scope of the injustice done upon her as a woman. All women must pay for the sins of Eve. Jeanne no longer care for the society that has wronged her and failed her so many times. She simply wants to do bad. She offers the devil both her womb and her soul. She wants to become a horrifying woman. He beautiful body has only caused her trouble. But Satan only makes her more attractive. Jeanne was attempting to leave behind her trauma by leaving behind the beautiful maiden she was. She sees this feminine trait as only a negative for herself. The devil doesn’t, however. As the counterpoint to the masculine God, Satan has a tendency to embraced feminine features in classic literature and folk lore. Jeanne is still being viewed as a piece of meat by her latest male companion. But instead of it making her subservient it is being propped up as her person power. Satan even sees her as an equal of sorts. He refers to her as his wife. Jeanne is consumed by her hatred and rage and comes out a beautiful powerful witch.

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Originally posted by atomic-chronoscaph

              There are some things even the Church cannot hope to control. That is right, it is plague time. The church collapses nearly completely under the ‘satanic’ power of nature/ the plague. With the power of a so called ‘poisonous’ plant Jeanne is able to cure the plague. And soon the village folks gather witch festivals/ giant orgies. Everyone is having a great time thanks to the innovation of women and their freedom from the oppression of their feudal lord. Jeanne is the best ruler these people have ever had. But that cannot be. The king simply must have her under his thumb. So the worst happens, Jean, the terrible bastard loser husband comes back on the scene to cry and beg for her to come back and submit to the Lord. AND SHE DOES! She forgives him. And the Lord invites her to live back on the lord’s land in exchange for all of her knowledge. Jeanne says she does not want a simple plot of land or a title. She wants the world just as the Lord did. But because she is a witch and a woman the Lord wants to have her killed. Their feudal lord who does not cure the plague, has high taxes, and has yet to hold a state sponsored orgy convinces everyone to once again turn on her. The king has not been portrayed as doing a simple thing right this entire movie. But nepotism runs rampant and religion is utilized as a tool to control the masses. So ultimately, she is burned at the stake. Another hasty decision by men in power with no idea. The Lord had never actually been able to shame the Lord into her heart. So as the crowd watches her burn her spirit splits off into the entire watching crowd. Freeing them from their mental chains and sparking a seed of rebellion in all of their spirits. They no longer feel the need to live under a man happy to watch them starve and die. Jeanne is ultimately a Christ figure freeing the villagers mind and giving back their free will. That is to say the real evil is corrupt authority and not the moral folly of women.

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🏆 While academic excellence through honors and awards will always be something that college admission officers expect to see, seeing a student that contributes to their school through extracurricular activities and organizational participation will also be of the utmost importance.
Students should seek to gain a competitive edge through their accomplishments starting as soon as high school. An example of this would be leadership involvement in a club or organization. Campus clubs offer an opportunity to cultivate vital leadership skills within a group setting while demonstrating your ability to manage your time.

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