But this time around, I am not upset about any silver-screen conspiracy! There is a fundamental difference between fictitious and propagandist representation of ancient history by some Hollywood producer (in the 300), and an animation brought to screen by the writer herself.
Marjaneh Satrapi's four-volume cartoon series called Persépolis (published in 2000 by the French publisher l'Association) is made into an animation feature film. I don't know what kind of an audience the Persépolis is targeting. Her series pleased me tremendously, because she accurately described every single experience that I had, growing up under almost identical circumstances. It is the simplicity of her expression and the honesty of her realism that touches me. Would someone who hasn't lived that kind of a life enjoy the comics as much as I did? I don't know.
I hear that Persépolis is a contender for the Palme D'Or in the 60th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Does this nomination reflects Satrapi's and Vincent Paronnaud's (a couple of lovely geeks) success in animation of her story; or does it hinge on the current political relevance of the motif? Or is it just Cannes' almost two-decade-long fascination with anything Iranian--as long as it is miserable enough to be true to "realism"?!
I do not know!
However, Persépolis is not the only Iran-related film at the Cannes this year.
Abbas Kiarostami (the darling of the Cannes, who has recently moved most of his operation under the French umbrella , and has stopped winning the Cannes' prizes) was present among 35 of the world's most famous directors with a 3-minutes short for the A chacun son cinéma, an episodic film comprised of 3-mins works of Cannes-winners such as Wim Wenders, Lars Von Trier, Gus Van Sant, Wong Kar Wai, and Roman Polanski.
Also, Tahmineh Milani is present with a short break from her usual feminist themes.
Interestingly enough, I heard Milani's favorite actress Niki Karimi is on the jury of Cinéfondation and short films.
But over all, Iranian presence at the Cannes has been fading over the past two years.
Is it because the Cannes doesn't accept the films of Ahmadinejad reign, or is it because the better filmmakers of Iran are facing increasing difficulty in finishing their films with a masterpiece quality? Or maybe the increasingly bourgeois-cinema of Iran is not appealing to the spiritualists who discovered the Cinema of the 90s in Iran's version of neo-realism?
No accurate reports, yet! This needs scholarly investigation though.