The film version of Satrapi’s Persepolis opens tonight at the Fox Tower in downtown Portland. When I stop coughing, I’m all over it.
In the meantime, here’s Mike Russell’s recent interview. Here’s a snip of favorite part:
One of the things that shows that a society is changing is the situation of the women. Of course, in Iran the situation of the women is far from being great…. But the country is moving, and we have to let it make its own move. And no matter what change comes, it should come from within the country. Do you want someone to come to your country and say, “We don’t like George Bush, so we’re going to kill your whole family and get rid of George Bush”? If you love your country, you can understand that other people love their countries, too.
But by calling us an “Axis of Evil,” we are completely dehumanized. The people who are dying every day are not just the “Axis of Evil” — they’re human beings who have children, who like ice cream, who want to make love, they have hopes and dreams and fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters.
What I hope will happen with the movie is that people will see it and say, “Oh, these are human beings like myself.” That is the goal that I have. I’m not a politician. I don’t know how to solve the problems of the world. But as an artist, I have one duty: to ask questions. In today’s world, we have very easy, two-word answers to complicated questions. “Let’s attack” — two words. That’s it. I try to ask questions, and show that it’s a bit more complicated than that. People never realize there’s another point of view; all of us are convinced we have a monopoly on suffering. If we know other people are suffering just as much as us, it can be the beginning of something.