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global awareness (or something)

A woman I worked with lent me a really interesting graphic novel (2 volumes), called Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. It's her memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The art is ink and brush or pen--very simple but very expressive. It's moving, but funny in places too, and very eye-opening. Before I got a chance the ninja girl and Little Springtime pounced on it--I think they've both read both volumes by now. I'm still on Vol. one, but I've also dipped into Vol. 2--you can do that because there are lots of little vignettes. I recommend them--they're really good.

We've also seen a couple of Iranian films recently--the last was Colors of Paradise--which weren't political but which make the place real to you. I really noticed in Colors of Paradise the landscape. A lot of it was set in the countryside--so beautiful.

It's funny what ends up sticking with you of things like this, but something does. It's better, so much better, to have these things in one's mind than only to have news headlines when one thinks of a place like Iran.

It reminds me of these large cardboard figures of children that my sister and I had when we were little. They were, oh, 15 or 18 inches tall and done in full color, and they were of children from other countries. On the back it told a little bit about them, the costume they were wearing, and where they lived. I think they were from Unicef. We each had two boys and two girls. I had a girl from Panama (I chose her first, she was wearing this gorgeous lacy dress and a lacy top) and a girl from Lebanon (or maybe my sister had her? I can't remember for sure); my sister had a girl from the Philippines, and I forget where her other one was from. Then I had a boy from Iran. There was also a boy from Kenya, I think. I can't remember where the other two boys were from--one might have been from Saudi Arabia. I remember that that was the first time I had heard the name "Iran" as a country. In stories it had always been Persia. I remember being surprised that it was called Iran. The dress of the girl from the Philippines was made from fibers from the banana tree--my sister and I thought this was pretty funny at the time--we didn't really understand about fibers and how you get them; we were thinking of bananas and somehow thought the dress was made from the banana skins. Silly, but that's ignorance for you. And the dress was gorgeous.

Maybe Guatemala, that might have been where the last boy was from. And maybe the other girl was from Botswana--somewhere in southern Africa, I think. If I had an electrode I could stick on the proper spot on my brain, I'd be able to recall.

Those paper dolls did give me an impression of those places, however vague. Better than not having any impression at all.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
Three of my favorite movies are from an Iranian director named Majid Majidi.

Color of Paradise.( a little sad I think...blind boy-right?)

Children of Heaven (older brother loses younger sister's shoes...share one pair for a while..the best of his I think. First Iranian film nominated for an oscar.)

Baran...(Afghani girl needs job in Iran pretends to be boy...beautiful film.)

There available to rent but I bought all three of them.

Jun. 9th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
We saw Children of Heaven too and liked it a lot. I liked the relationship between the brother and the sister. I thought I might check out Baran too, but does it have a sad ending?
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
I thought I might check out Baran too, but does it have a sad ending?

a little bit sad...realistic might be a better word. That "Children of Heaven" was the only foreign movie I got my 15 year old nephews to watch. Such a good movie...you know the ending with the race...interesting thing in that movie was the tea brewing system they use...It's the same kind my Turkish friend uses. Like a Samovar.

Don't be scared off by Baran...it's really worth watching but the forest creatures may not like it.
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, and yes, you are right--Color of Paradise is about a blind boy, and it is a bit sad.
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
You should read Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas. It's delightful.
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
Yay, I will :-)

After finishing Uncle Vanya!
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
(forgot about poor Uncle Vanya and Sonia)
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, this is chartreuse

and there's the celebrity strawberry.

and speaking of green liquids, I forgot to say I'm drinking rosemary herbal tea these days. it comes in bags, just organic rosemary. good with a bit of honey.

Jun. 9th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Ah, this is chartreuse
Yes, i told you I like chartreuse!

Everyone LOVES the strawberry-flavored sweets and the ginger cake mmm!

Loved seeing you :-)

Maybe I'll have some rosemary tea right now (I have some rosemary out front!
Jun. 9th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
What a great post. I remember paper dolls. I don't remember the dolls from different countries but I did buy my granddaughter some of those so they're still around.

I read "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by: Can't-remember-her-name, which was right before the revolution also. It was very interesting.
Jun. 10th, 2006 09:44 am (UTC)
Is "The White Balloon" from Iran? I have such bad memory. I remember that. I need to get focused and watch movies soon. I have not been able to for awhile. I need to just try it out.

Those dolls sound great. I spent a lot of time looking at pictures in encylopedias as a kid. I used to always want to go to Russia, I don't know why since the cold war was going on and all, but I was all drawn to it.

That book interests me. I love art with words. I like comic books too.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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