Arnon Grunberg

Landlord in Vienna


I planned to see an Israeli movie that had gotten a mixed review in the NY Times on Friday, but to my surprise it was sold out. So I went to see Persepolis.
Enough praise has already been heaped on Satrapi’s books -- if praise can ever be enough.
Today I had a small discussion about a movie I liked and the other person disliked. The question was raised if that movie told us something we didn’t know.
Now I don’t think "Persepolis" tells us something new; at least if you are aware of the recent history of Iran and the hiccups of adolescence and immigration.
At the same time I think "Persepolis" is a highly enjoyable and good movie.
Important are the small variations in a story that is to a certain degree common. I found the landlord in Vienna who is in love with her dog in “Persepolis” hilarious.
Important might also be the energy with which the story is told.
In this case also the fact that it is easy to fall in love with the heroine of the story, although basically she is just a drawing and according to her own statements not the most attractive woman in the world.
Important is that something is being said that feels or can be accepted as truth.
The witness might be a perpetrator or might have other flaws, but the witness has to be sincere.