Imagine if I cannot stand someone and every day he is here in my face, then I cannot work. Then, the whole time, I am thinking "I hate him, I hate him." But if I love him or I love her, then I can do anything, then I am comfortable. That's why it's so important to be surrounded by people that you really like.
Racism is not nearly as important as poverty. That's the same around the world. What look like ethnic problems are really economic issues. If you look closely at all these conflicts around the world, they come down to poverty and economics and resources. The more poverty, the worse the war.
When you say 'revolution' when you have only men outside, you know that something is going wrong. I'm not like a hardcore feminist, but I think that one of the things that makes the society advanced is equality between men and women. If half of the society is oppressed by the other half, it's not fine.
For me George Bush is just as scary, if not more. Because he doesn't look like a scary guy, because he's shaved and he has a tie on. But he's a real fanatic - a fanatic by definition is the one who says, if you are not with me, you are against me, and that's exactly the position he takes. The mullahs in my country, it's obvious. But a guy who says I am the president of the biggest secular democracy in the world and asks people to read the Bible and make crusades and says he's God's best friend - this guy is even more scary because you don't see it at the beginning.
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It is dangerous when you start calling people from one part of the world terrorists or fanatic, and you reduce them to some abstract notion. If evil has a geographical place, and if the evil has a name, that is the beginning of fascism. Real life is not this way. You have fanatics and narrow-minded people everywhere.
The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself: Are my trousers long enough?' Is my veil in place?' Can my make-up be seen?' Are they going to whip me?' No longer asks herself: Where is my freedom of thought?' Where is my freedom of speech?' My life, is it livable?' What's going on in the political prisons?
To be the mistress of a married man is to have the better role. Do you realize? His dirty shirt, his disgusting underwear, his daily ironing, his bad breath, his hemorrhoid attacks, his fuss, not to mention his bad moods, and his tantrums. Well all that is for his wife. When a married man comes to his mistress... he's always bleached and ironed, his teeth sparkle, his breath is like perfume, he's in a good mood, he's full of conversation, he is there to have a good time with you.
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I've never seen or touched anything." "Can you explain then how you had children?" "You're right. It's true I have four kids. Four! But still I have never seen the male organ. He came into the bedroom, he turned off the light, and then Bam! Bam! Bam! and voila I was pregnant! What's more, I was granted four girls. So I have never seen penises.
You are putting yourself in serious danger... ' I think that I preferred to put myself in serious danger rather than confront my shame. My shame at not having become someone, the shame of not having made my parents proud after all the sacrifices they had made for me. The shame of having become a mediocre nihilist.
I had two major activities as a child. I was trying to put on shows with kids in my street, or I was drawing. Actually, what I'm doing now is exactly what I was doing then. Either I'm drawing, or I'm gathering people for a common project. The only difference is that now they are paying me for that.
In all the dictatorships, there's such a non-understanding of what human beings are. I mean, if you believe in the Bible, you have the story of Adam and Eve and God tells them, "Do whatever you want. The only thing you shouldn't do is eat the apple." What do they do the first thing? They eat the apple. So if you know a little bit the psychology of human beings, you have to understand that if you say something you should not do, then everybody wants to do it.
You are putting yourself in serious danger...' I think that I preferred to put myself in serious danger rather than confront my shame. My shame at not having become someone, the shame of not having made my parents proud after all the sacrifices they had made for me. The shame of having become a mediocre nihilist.
People, they think that animation is a style. Animation is just a technique. It's like, people, they think that comics is a style, like comics is a superhero story. Comic is just a narration, and is a medium, you can say any kind of story in comics and you can say of any kind of story in animation.
Comics are just another medium to express yourself. It's not cinema; it's not literature; it's just something else. It has a specific requirement, which is that images are used to tell the story. There are lots of crappy movies, with guns and action and Arnold Schwarzenegger or whatever.
I think the best work of the director is to listen to what all the technicians around him have to say, but then the thing is to take the best decision, what you think is the best. Then, that is the moment where you have to have all the film in your head and imagine how all of that will fit together.
My real background was in art studies. At the beginning I was a painter, then I was this graphic designer, then I became an illustrator, then I was a comic artist. But for me it's a different way of expression, a different field of art. They're not separated; everything for me is related.
I'd heard so many stupidities about my country since I left Iran. People had watched this stupid movie Not Without My Daughter [in which Sally Field plays an American who rescues her daughter from her estranged in-laws in Iran]; I heard so many things like that. I did not make Persepolis for Iranians. It was my answer to the rest of the world, to say, "Let me give you another point of view."
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The things that I do today are the things I did as a child. When I was a child, either I was drawing or I was taking all the kids off my street and I wanted to make shows - I was all the time making! The only thing is, now I know how to do it better, and now they give me money for it.
We always say we are equal in front of death, but when you are rich, for example, and you have everybody taking care of you, I think that you suffer much less. It must be much more painful to die when you are poor than when you are rich. But when your heart is broken, you can be rich, poor, whatever - a broken heart, we are all equal in front of it. And I think there is no subject more serious.
There's this scene in "The Night of the Hunter" when the kids are downstairs, and you have the feeling that they're both in a room and at the same time it looks remote. And you wonder, How can you give the effect of both "inside" and "outside" at the same time. And you realize, by watching it many times, that around the scene there's this black edging.
If I have one message to give to the secular American people, it's that the world is not divided into countries. The world is not divided between East and West. You are American, I am Iranian, we don't know each other, but we talk together and we understand each other perfectly. The difference between you and your government is much bigger than the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and my government is much bigger than the difference between me and you. And our governments are very much the same.
Death, torture and prison are part of daily life for the youth of Iran. They are not like us, my friends and I at their age; they are not scared. They are not what we were. They hold hands and scream: 'Don't be afraid! Don't be afraid! We are together!' They understand that no one will give them their rights; they must go get them.
I wrote the plot [for the Persepolis ]and Vincent [Paronnaud] and I wrote and discussed the shooting of the script. Vincent then took care of the production design, the actual shooting, and what was going on within each scene. It's very difficult, though, to draw a line between who did what. Because Vincent would say something, and I would add something, and at the end you have this film, yet no clear idea of who did what.