If you’re not familiar with Marjane Satrapi, you’re missing out on one of the great cartoonists of our generation, and a diverse perspective (that of a woman raised in a secular Iranian household in the late seventies) that doesn’t often make its way very far into American culture. Much less as far as the Oscars.
Satrapi’s second graphic novel to make it to a film adaptation (after 2007’s Persepolis) is Chicken with Plums, the true-or-not story of her musician uncle’s suicide. While it might not be gorgeously animated like Persepolis, it still looks pretty interesting. Since we can’t find an English dub or subtitled version of the trailer, here’s the synopsis:
The year is 1958, the city Tehran. Celebrated violinist Nasser Ali Khan (Mathieu Amalric) has an unexpected encounter with a longlost love, but she fails to recognize him. He returns home, has an argument with his wife and, most troublingly, discovers that his prized violin has been broken. He’s unable to replace it, can’t conceive of life without the consolation of music, and soon finds that he can’t get out of bed, where he lies locked both in dreams about his childhood and projections of his own children’s futures. His reveries lay somewhere between fantasy and oblivion, and quickly assemble into a kind of thriller, riddled with flashbacks and flash-forwards (as well as a vision of a naked Sophia Loren), that illuminates his peculiar persona and the source of his despair.
This synopsis makes the whole thing sound like a bundle of manly pain and other wallowing in crushed ambitions, but we highly recommend you give the book a read: it’s ultimately about music, art, family, love and a whole bunch of other important stuff, shot through with humor and history.