“Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel:” the phrase itself is loaded with the suggestion of graphite.

So it’s fitting that “Persepolis” the new film version of Satrapi’s bestselling story, is also almost entirely in black & white, exploring as it does the absolutes of regimes, both political and religious.

Not that Satrapi buys into the term. When asked recently by New York Times Magazine interviewer Deborah Solomon if she considers herself a graphic novelist, Satrapi replied:

I don’t very much like this term of graphic novel. I think they made up this term for the bourgeoisie not to be scared of comics. Like, Oh, this is the kind of comics you can read.

Well, whatever you call it, the story, in both print and film formats, has won high praise for its depiction of life in post-Shah Iran, when Islamic fundamentalists consolidated their power. It’s won a Golden Globe award as best foreign language film and a New York Film Critics Circle award as best animated feature.

The film screens at 7p tonight at Clearview Cinemas on White Street as a fundraiser for the Red Bank-based Monmouth County Arts Council. Tickets are $10.

According to the All Movie Guide (via the New York TImes), “the English language version features the voice talents of Sean Penn, Gena Rowlands and Iggy Pop, with Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni reprising their roles from the original French foreign language version.”

We’re pretty sure this print is in French with subtitles, though. At least, the trailer shown last week was.

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