We saw Persepolis last night at the Fox Tower -- it's fantastic, and I highly recommend it! If you haven't heard of it, it's an animated movie based on the two autobiographical graphic novels of Marjane Satrapi, who grew up in Iran during the Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. That sounds like some heavy subject matter, and it is, but it's also wondrously funny and filled with humanity. The stark black and white animation is simple but beautiful. Marjane was a spunky kid who loved Bruce Lee and sneakers and punk -- imagine then the shift to the repressive regime of the Islamic Republic.
Some time in the past year I randomly caught an interview on NPR with another Iranian female author of a memoir, and just the few minutes I heard I was struck cold with horror at her experience of being a teenage political prisoner during this same era. I didn't write the title of that book down, but I still can't shake the horror. Marjane Satrapi was lucky to escape the horrors that other woman faced, as she was never imprisoned (she was sent to Europe in her teens, where though "safe" she was alientated and very alone), and Persepolis isn't overwhelming like that, but tempers the horror of the era with a beautiful celebration of individuality and integrity in the face of opression. And it's funny! In some of the scenes I laughed like a hyena! (Take that, you cad of an Austrian boyfriend!)
[Update: Thank you, Elizabeth. Yes, Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat does indeed sound like the book! I get shivers all over again just reading about it on Amazon. Teenage political prisoners, executed!!!!!]
It's a fairly dismal time at the theaters right now (Rambo, Hannah Montana), but this one is a must-see. You might also check out the books.