Persepolis Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Persepolis script is here for all you fans of the movie based on the Marjane Satrapi graphic novel. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Persepolis quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Persepolis Script


Ticket and passport, please.

Ma'am, I need
your ticket and passport.

Marji, stop running!

Look, there's Nioucha!

Marji, haven't you grown!

Got a present for me?

How was Paris?
You saw Bruce Lee?

And the Eiffel Tower?

Welcome to Tehran.

-We've missed you.
-I'll take your bags.

No! I'll get them.

Hurry, everyone's waiting!

I remember...

...I led a peaceful, uneventful life... a little girl.

I loved fries with ketchup,
Bruce Lee was my hero...

...I wore Adidas sneakers,
and had two obsessions:

Shaving my legs one day...

...and being the last prophet
of the galaxy.

Slip a pencil under your breasts.
If it falls, they're great.

If it sticks, they're crap.

Shake her
and you'll fill a box of pencils.

Calm down.

They let me see him last week.

The state he's in...

They said they'd free him, though.

-It'll soon be four years.
-Don't worry.

This regime will collapse
sooner or later.

Mom, Marji kicked my head!

The dragon's revenge
is a bitter dish best served cold.

This dragon is heading...

...for a good thrashing.

I, Marjane...

...future prophet, hereby decide:

First, everyone must behave well.

Second, everyone must
keep their word.

Third, everyone must do good.

Fourth, the poor must all eat
one roasted chicken every day.

Fifth, old women
will never suffer again.

Well, Marji, in that case...

...I'll be your first disciple.

You will? Great!

How'll you make sure
old women don't suffer?

It'll be forbidden.

Why didn't I think of that?

What's going on?

Down with the Shah! Down with
the Shah! Down with the Shah!

I knew it!

I told you so!

I knew it!

This is a historic moment!

He'll pay for what he's done.

Your poor father
will be avenged at last.

The Shah can join his pals
in Washington.

I think I like the Shah.

He was chosen by God.


God told me so Himself.

God and my teacher too.

The Shah wasn't chosen by God.

That's not true! My teacher-

That's what people say.

Here's what really happened.

The truth is, 50 years ago...

...the Shah's father,
an army officer...

...wanted to overthrow
the Qadjar emperor.

As Ataturk did in Turkey.

I shall modernize Iran
and make it a republic!

The English heard about this,
and one day...

Hello! Why create a republic...

...when you could be emperor?

Me? Emperor?

Of course!

It's better than being president.

You'll have all the power.

A country like yours...

...needs a strong man like you
to lead it.

You have a point.


...the religious leaders
are against a republic...

...and, frankly, they're right.

What do I have to do?

Nothing. Just give us the oil...

...and we'll take care of the rest.

I'm the king now!

All your property is mine!

So, in fact, he was a moron.

Yes and no.

He was a dictator,
but he modernized Iran.

In a way, he loved his country...

...unlike his son
who succeeded him.

I'm the king now!

I'm the light of the Aryans.

I'll make this country
the most modern one ever!

Our people will regain
their splendor.

Yes, the Shah's father
was very cruel.

He even jailed your grandpa.

But his son is ten times worse.

Grandpa was in jail?

Yes. He had royal blood.

He was a Qadjar prince.

The Shah's father ruined him.

He was jailed above all
for being a communist.

My grandpa was a Qadjar prince
and a "communiss. "

Dear God.

You're alive!
I was worried sick.

-They opened fire on the crowd.
-We had a close call, Grandma.

Tadji and I ran,
but the soldiers cornered us.

Those bastards took my film.

-They held us for hours.
-Marji was so excited.

She went on about proles,
peasants, the class struggle...

...and that bearded guy,
Che "Guevero. "

The boy shot next to us
wasn't even 20.

What's happened
to this country?

Right now, it's a shit hole, my dear.

-Down with the Shah!
-Here we go again.

Down with the Shah!
Down with the Shah!

Marji, go to bed. Right now!

Down with the Shah.
Down with the Shah.

I've understood your revolt.

Together, we shall try
to march towards democracy...

...building the future hand in hand.


-They let you out.
-Hello, Ebi.

It's Siamak. He's back.

Hello, Tadji.

Come in.
We're so glad you're alive!

Come in.

Don't just stand there.

This must be Marjane.

How you've grown.

You were just a baby before.

And now you're a young lady.

Who is that guy?

My father. He was in jail.

He's a hero.

There were scientists
who knew the whole body.

They knew what caused
the most pain.

They whipped me
with cables so much... foot isn't like a foot anymore.

And why?

The foot's nerves
are linked to the brain.

The pain's incredible.

Our torturers were trained
by the CIA.

They certainly knew their stuff.

What happened to Hamid?

Hamid was killed.

As a guerrilla member,
he suffered horribly.

He had cyanide on him
just in case...

...but he wasn't able to use it.

He had the worst torture.

The loser gets tortured to death.

-What kind of torture?

We'll hit him on the head
with a cable!

But first he has to put this
in his mouth...

...and chew it three times.

Look. It's Ramine.

I heard that his dad
was in the Shah's secret police.

His dad killed a million people
with his own bare hands.

A million?


In their name...

...we'll teach Ramine a lesson.

We'll rip his eyes out.

Marjane! What are you up to?

-Marji found nails!
-We'll beat Ramine up.

We'll rip his eyes out!

What if I nailed your ears
to the wall?

Go to your room and stay there
until I say so!

what's the matter with you?

That's no way
for a future prophet to behave.

But, Lord, Ramine's father
killed people.

That's not poor Ramine's fault.

His father's crimes
aren't his doing.

The wicked will pay one day.

Have faith in my justice.

You cannot wield it.

Your duty is to forgive.

-What do you want?

It's not your fault
your father's a murderer.

So I forgive you.

He only ever killed communists...

...and communists are evil!

In the months after the Shah left...

...the country was euphoric.

Everyone had been a revolutionary.

Everyone had fought the Shah.

Our neighbor's birthmark...

...had magically become
a war wound.

Our teacher, who loved the Shah...

...made us tear up the photos
of the royal family in our books.

Political rallies thrived...

...and the old internal enemies...

...became national heroes.

In this merry chaos,
Uncle Anoush came into my life.

Things will get better now.

Nothing will stop the people.

We'll have a society
of justice and freedom at last.

As Lenin predicted,
the proletariat will rule.

Uncle Anoush,
how long were you in jail?

-Nine years.
-Wow! More than Laly's dad.

Are you married? A communist?

Marji, give your uncle
time to digest.

She's so inquisitive.

You're right.
It's good to be curious.

Have you digested?

Enough! It's time for bed!

Put your pajamas on.
I'll come and tell you everything.

Elections are soon.

Trust the people. They'll do all they can
to keep their freedom now.

It can't be worse
than under the Shah.

I'm ready!

Watch out, she'll eat you alive.

I'm ready!

I'll start at the beginning.

I was 18 when my Uncle Fereydoun
and his friends...

...proclaimed the Iranian province
of Azerbaijan independent.

Fereydoun named himself
the minister of justice.

Democracy is based on justice.

All men must be equal
before the law.

We shared ideas,
so I became his secretary.

This is just the beginning.

We shall liberate Iran...

...province by province, city by city.

I'm sure we will.

It wasn't easy to follow him...

...for my father was loyal
to the Shah.

My son is a traitor!

Go and join my idiotic brother.

You'll all end up shot, you hear?

My father turned out to be right.

And one morning...

My God! Fereydoun!

I had to flee. I had no choice.

While my uncle
faced his fate alone.

I walked for days
through the snow and blizzards.

I was hungry and cold
but kept going.

I crossed the Alborz Mountains
to go to my parents in Astara.

Who's bothering me this late?

My God, Anoush!

Our son. He's half-dead.

My darling son!

My son...

My darling son, forgive me.

I couldn't stay.
The Shah's army was after me.

I went into exile.

I swam across the Aras River...

...and arrived in the USSR.

What did you do then?

I went to Leningrad,
then Moscow.

I did a doctorate
in Marxism-Leninism.

But I missed my family
more and more.

I tried to come back in disguise,
with forged papers...

...but it didn't work.

They arrested me.

You went to jail?

Yes. You know...

...I'm telling you this
because you need to know.

The family memory must live on.

Even if it's not easy
for you to understand.

Don't worry, Uncle Anoush,
I'll never forget.

Were you married?

It's late now. Go to sleep.

This is for you.

I made it in prison.

Out of bread.

99.99% of the people
have voted democratically...

...for the Islamic Republic.

It's normal, every revolution
has a period of transition.

Half the country is illiterate.

Only nationalism and religion
can unite people.

Mina and her family have left.
They say it's too dangerous here.

They found Mohsen
drowned in his bath.

Don't worry.
Everything will be okay.

Siamak and his family have fled.
The bastards killed his sister.

Maybe we should leave Iran too.

So you can be a maid
and I can drive a taxi?

We'll purge
anti-revolutionary elements.

Only one law will prevail:

That of blood.


They've arrested Anoush.

I know.


It will be all right.

Do you want to do something
for him?

He's allowed one visit.
He wants to see you.

I'll go.

Ten minutes.

What a pretty dress.

What a beautiful girl.

You know that your visit
honors me?

You're the daughter
I'd have loved to have.

You'll see.

One day, the proletariat will rule.


I made you another bread swan.

It's the first one's uncle.

Star of my life...

What's wrong, my child?

Don't be sad.

Shut up.

You didn't stop them
from killing him.

It's not my fault. Men did it.

Shut up! Never come back again!

Get out!

Get out!

One year after the revolution,
Iraq attacked Iran.

Saddam struck
a vulnerable country.

The revolution
and purges in the army...

...had vastly weakened us.

In the name of
fighting the external enemy...

...the state exterminated
the internal one:

The opponents
to the Shah's regime.

Arrests and executions
took place daily.

Everyone was afraid.

The new government adopted
even more repressive laws.

In two years...

...every aspect
of our lives changed.

And so did we.

All right, children!
On the heart for our martyrs!

Daughters and sons of Iran...

...the war has killed
our best children.

The truth will soon rise up
from their blood.

For whom did they die?

For us!

For us!



Finish me!

What are you doing?

I'm suffering. Can't you see?

Go to class now!

The veil stands for freedom.

A decent woman shelters herself
from men's eyes.

A woman who shows herself
will burn in hell.

Hey, have you seen this?

Our soldiers die every day
on our borders... save our dear land
from indecency.


Abba is for wimps.

Leave in single file. Hurry!

Mom, what's for dinner?

How about a nice chili?

Yeah! It'll make us fart!

Give me that!

I saw it first!

-Sure, bitch!
-Stop that!

Look at you, fighting like animals.

We should show solidarity.

-What's her problem?
-Who asked you?

Your scarf, sister.

You, woman!

Sir, you don't say "woman,"
you say "ma'am. "

-Show some respect, please.
-Respect you?

I screw women like you
and dump them in the trash.

Get in!

Are you okay?

Yes, dear, I'm fine.

Move it!

Shut up, bastard!

Mom, you have to give me
50 tomans.

Really? What for?

They're selling tapes
on Gandhi Avenue.

Bee Gees tapes?

Mom! The Bee Gees suck!

"Estivie" Wonder.

Julio Iglesias.

Pink Floyd.

"Jickael Mackson. "

Lipstick, varnish, playing cards.

Iron Maiden.

-How much?
-One hundred tomans.




What's that outfit?

And those punk shoes?

-What punk shoes?

They're sneakers.

That style is punk.

I'm on my school's basketball team.

Is that a basketball jacket?

What's that? Michael Jackson!

That symbol of Western decadence!

No, ma'am, it's...

Malcolm X!

-Michael Jackson!
-Your scarf, slut!

You're coming with us!

I'm sorry. It won't happen again.

Ma'am, my mother is dead.

My stepmother's so cruel.

If I'm late, she'll kill me!

She'll burn me with an iron.

She'll make my dad
put me in an orphanage!

Have mercy!

Please, ma'am, have mercy!

Today, our army destroyed
63 Iraqi tanks and 26 fighter planes.

Our martyrs' blood
irrigates our land...

...and feeds deserts of hope.

To die a martyr is to inject blood
into the veins of society.

Is everything all right,
Mrs. Nassrine?

No, it isn't.

They gave my son this at school.

They said
that if he fights and dies...

...this key will get him into heaven.
This plastic key!

They said heaven is full of food...

...women, gold houses
and diamonds!


Well, he's 14.
Women interest him.

I've suffered so much.

I've raised five children
with my tears.

Now they want to swap my oldest
for this key.

I've always been devout.

I've prayed, I've worn the veil,
I've obeyed.

But I can't believe in anything

It's me. Did you hear?

They arrested the Roshanis.
They found alcohol and playing cards.

Why are you covering your head?

For your husband.

That's how we were brought up.

Don't worry.

I'll talk to your son.

Thanks to my parents,
her son never went to war.

Between air raids...

...government repression
and spying neighbors... tried to follow its course.

To make everything bearable,
people had parties... from prying eyes.

They were often boozy.

Alcohol was banned...

...but my uncle Taher
supplied us with wine.

He had built a winemaking lab
in his basement.

Mrs. Nassrine...

...who cleaned for him too,
helped crush the grapes.

God forgive me.

Attending these parties was risky.

But it was the only bit of freedom
we had left.

Come on.

Get out!

ID, registration, license.

Come here.


-Been drinking?

-Liar. You Westernized trash.

I work for this country.
How dare you!

-Forgive him.
-Shut up!

I could be your mother.
How old are you? Fifteen?

Sixteen? My daughter is 13.

If not for your wife,
you'd be in hell.

Thank you!

Get in. Let's see
if you have bottles at home.

Grandma, Marji, go up first.
I'll stall them.

-Empty all the bottles.
-But how?

Don't worry, I was used to it
with your father.

I always had to hide his tracks.

Our neighbor is an elderly man
with a heart condition.

Any sudden noise could kill him.

Perhaps we can
work something out...

Where are you two going?

I have diabetes, my boy.

Without syrup, I'm going to faint.

Diabetes? Like my mother.

All right.

Where are they?

Arrogant, but no ideology.
A few bills made them forget.

You didn't throw it all out?

Yes, we did.


It's his heart again.

They were after communists
near our house.

They threw a grenade.

Taher couldn't take it.

I found him on the floor
in the living room.

It will be all right.

No, it won't.

He needs open-heart surgery.

They can't do it here.

They say he has to go to England.

I went to see the hospital director.

You won't believe it.

Know who he is?

My old window washer!

I pretended not to know him
so as not to humiliate him.

With the borders closed,
only the very sick can go abroad.

It's his third coronary.

He needs an operation abroad
or he'll die!

We'll do our best.

If God wills it, he'll get better.

It all depends on God.

I need your authorization
to get his passport.

If God wills it.

Thanks to a beard and suit
this idiotic window washer...

...runs a hospital now!

My husband's fate
depends on a window washer!

He's so religious
he won't look at a woman.

The stupid bastard!

I know someone
who makes passports.

I'll go see him. It'll all be okay.

Wait. I'll come too.

Where did I put it?

Here it is! Look at this.

It looks real, huh?

A whole month's work went into this.

You're cute. What's your name?

How long to make a passport?

Passports are in high demand.

They're how I make my living now.

Usually, it takes two weeks.

But I can do it in one.

Perfect, but hurry.

It's only Niloufar.

Meet Ebi. I told you
about his brother Anoush.


She's a communist too.

Her brother was my messenger boy
so I hide her here.

It's the only place she's safe.

Is he dumb or what?

He'll get crushed.

There! What did I tell you?

Don't look.

-It's horrible.
-Grandma, stop it!

What a load of crap.

The Japanese
either gut themselves...

...or make hideous monsters.
That's all they ever seem to do.

will Uncle Taher die?

-Of course.
-You think so?

Without a passport,
he won't make it.

-He smoked too much.

His heart's not failing
from cigarettes.

His kids are too far away.

A portion of beans,
piping hot, please.

Children always leave.
That's normal.

But having to part with them at due to an absurd war...

...that breaks your heart.

In Taher's shoes,
I'd be dead and buried by now.

-May God eradicate these barbarians.
-May God hear you.

Khosrow, it's you.
Is the package ready?

They arrested Niloufar
and trashed my place!

Niloufar was executed.

Khosrow fled to Turkey
and then to Sweden.

Three weeks later...

...we buried Uncle Taher.

The war intensified.

Let me through.

Excuse me. Let me through.


I live over there.

Go on.


Are you hurt?

No, sweetie, we're fine.

Where did the missile land?

The Baba Levy's house.

Under our new government,
we no longer have political prisoners.


We have paid a high price
for our liberty.

-What now, Satrapi?

My uncle was jailed by the Shah,
but the new regime had him shot.

We have gone from 3,000 prisoners
under the Shah... 300,000 with you.

How dare you lie to us like this?

Stop that!

-Who was it?
-The principal.

Marji told her teacher off.

-Just like her uncle.

What? You want her
to end up like him? Executed?

You know what they do
to young girls?

You know what they did to Niloufar?

It's illegal to kill a virgin,
so a guard married her...

...and took her virginity first!

You know what that means?

If they touch you, I'll kill them!

Shortly after,
they decided to send me abroad.

Since I had attended
the French school in Tehran...

...I went to the French school
in Vienna.

My father got me a visa.

I'd stay with my mother's friend
and her family.

The day before I left...

...Grandma slept at our house.

Every morning, she'd put jasmine
in her bra to smell good.

When she undressed,
the flowers fell from her breasts.

It was magical.

How come your breasts
are so round at your age?

I soak them in a bowl of iced water
for ten minutes every day.

I'll miss you.

I'll come to see you.


I don't like to preach,
but here's some advice.

You'll meet a lot of jerks in life.

If they hurt you,
remember it's because they're stupid.

Don't react to their cruelty.

There's nothing worse
than bitterness and revenge.

Keep your dignity
and be true to yourself.

Everything will be all right.

No tears. Think of your future.

Europe awaits you.

When you get to Vienna,
have a Sachertorte.

It's a delicious chocolate cake.

We'll come to visit.

You're a big girl.

No tears.

-Enough. You have to go now.

Never forget who you are
and where you're from.

My daughter.

-My little Marji.

Europe awaited.

But not the way I imagined.

After a few days
at my mother's friend's...

...she decided her place
was too small.

She found lodgings...

...where I'd be fine...

...according to her.


I was delighted... find stores packed with goods
that had vanished at home.

For a while...

...going to the supermarket
was my favorite pastime.

My favorite pastime.

My favorite pastime.

In short,
I needed to make friends fast.

Luckily, at school,
I could understand the others...

...and could get myself understood.

Got a smoke?

I was the center of attention
for all the outsiders.

People like Momo, Thierry,
Olivier and Eve.

My nationality and story
fascinated them.

You saw a revolution and a war?

Well, yeah.

-You saw lots of dead people?
-A few.

That's wild.

I was soon part of the gang.

Momo introduced me
to nonchalance...

...the concept of forced nihilism...

...and Vienna's sub-culture.

I had trouble adapting at first.

But then I thought, "Why not?"

I convinced myself
I'd found my place.

But I wasn't like them.

As school holidays reminded me.

Shit. Christmas again.

With the whole damn family too.

All due to
a crappy American invention.

Santa Claus wears red and white...

Because he was
a Coca-Cola mascot.

I'll be bored shitless
in Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo's nothing.

I have to go to Brazil
to see my dad.

It's a 13-hour flight.

Holidays are crumbs
to keep the proles happy.

If the anarchists had won,
we wouldn't work at all.

Is everything all right, dear?

Good. What are you doing
for Christmas?


She's spending it with friends.

Be careful.

So you need anything?

Have fun. Lots of love.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

-Is that any way to behave?

-Is that how you eat?
-You all eat in front of the TV.

Not from the pot.
It's disgusting!

It's true what they say.
Iranians have no manners.

Is it true that all nuns
were prostitutes first?

That marked the start
of a series of moves...

...from apartment to apartment.

First, Eve and her mother
took me in.

Then I lived with 8 homosexuals.

Then in a maid's room
on Floriangasse.

Then with friends.
And friends' friends.

I ended up at the home
of Frau Doktor Schloss.

She was
a retired philosophy teacher.

To be honest, she was crazy.

The rent is 2,000 schillings.

You like dogs, don't you?

Yes, I love them.

Yuki has adopted you.

Dogs have a sixth sense.

They can tell if people are kind.

Over the next year,
I decided to fit in for real.

Certain aspects of Western culture
remained a mystery.

I had to educate myself.

From Sartre to Bakunin
to Zweig and Freud...

...I read all I could.

But I realized...

...there were things
I'd never understand.

That bastard Waldheim got elected.

-Yeah, it's crazy.

-I want to puke.
-It can't happen.

There's a big protest tomorrow.

That's all hot air anyway.

Life is a void.
When man realizes that...

...he can no longer live,
so he invents power games.

Bullshit! Life isn't absurd!

Some people
give their lives for freedom.

You think my uncle died for fun?

Egotistical prick.

I was very confused.

I had a safe, frivolous life...

...while those I loved
knew the hell of war.

However hard I tried,
I was haunted by guilt.

I just wanted to live
like a girl my age.

A big change was coming.

In a few months,
I became a young lady.

It was a time
of constantly renewed ugliness.

First, I grew seven inches.

Then my face became longer... right eye grew, then my chin.

My right hand became huge...

...then my left foot.

My nose tripled in size.
My chest developed.

My butt then restored
my center of gravity.

To cap it all off, a huge beauty mark
decorated my nose.

See, Yuki, I told you.
She's a prostitute.

This music sucks.

In any case, they're all losers here.

Bakunin wanted bourgeois democrats
to adopt socialist resolutions.

Things could have changed.
Capitalism undermines us.

See what I mean?

You're right. Where are you from?
Marie-Jeanne, right?

Yeah, I'm from... I'm French.

I'd never have guessed.

I was in Paris. Know it?

Sorry, I need to go see my friends.

Okay, fine. See you.

So you're French now?

Grandma, stop it.

I'm just asking.

I didn't know you were French.

Do you think
it is easy being Iranian here?

If I say I am,
they treat me like a savage.

They think we're all violent,
bloodthirsty fanatics.

Is that any reason
to deny your roots?

You remember what I told you?

Be true to yourself.

Know what she told my brother?

-She said she was French.

-I swear.
-And he believed her?

Have you seen her?
Who'd believe she's French?

Was he hitting on her?

Are you crazy? I'd kill myself
if he went out with-

Shut up, you bitches!

Yes, I'm Iranian
and, yes, I'm proud of it!

After three years in Austria,
I felt good at last.

Momo, Thierry,
Eve and Olivier had left.

I had new friends.

Birgit was a hippie
who looked like an old child.

At her house in the forest...

...she threw anarchist parties.

The state had nothing to fear
because these anarchists...

...mainly drank beer
and ate sausages.

At one of these parties,
I met Fernando.

When I saw him,
I knew he was the man of my life.

Marjane, are you there?

Last night, thanks to you,
I finally understood.

You've helped me discover myself.

If it didn't work with you,
it won't with any girl.

I know now: I'm homosexual.

It's so good to say it.

Thank you, Marjane.

You're welcome.

After that pathetic setback,
I swore off love.

I swear off love.

Love is a petty bourgeois emotion.

But "life is life,"
as some losers used to sing.

And, one November morning,
Markus came into my life.

Want a ride home?

I had finally found love.

Nothing scared me
and the future seemed bright.

Markus was going to be
a great writer.

He'd read extracts of his play
to me in his room.

We were one.

I got croissants, baby!

Wait, I can explain.
It's not what you think.

Marjane, I love you!

I love you!

I can't find my brooch.

I'm sure you've stolen it.

Not now. Leave me be.

No! You won't get away with it... thief!

Go to hell! I detest you!

You and your shitty dog!

How dare you say that about Yuki?
Where are you going?

You won't get away!

Go fuck yourself!

You thief! Give me my brooch back!

I'll call the police!

Come back!

What an idiot.

That bastard fooled me.

I'm an idiot.

How did I fall in love
with that pathetic, stingy prick?

-Want a ride home?

I need to get gas.
Shall we split it?

And his breath smelled like shit!

The jerk had a lousy personality.

Damn! Are you crazy?
My eye hurts!

-Let me see, honey.
-It's okay!

Pretentious loser. Writer, my ass!

His rotten play
was a piece of shit.

And he didn't have any balls.

He didn't stand up
to his mom for me.

A real wimp.

I always bought our hash too.

That coward stayed in the car
waiting for me!

He didn't care if I got arrested.

What an idiot I was.
What an idiot...

That was my first night
on the street.

There were plenty more.

A revolution had carried off
part of my family.

I had survived a war...

...but a banal love story
nearly killed me.

Are you okay?

Are we awake now?

You had a close call.

You're lucky we found you
in that cold.

You have bronchitis.

I forbid you to smoke
a single cigarette.

-Your last name?

-First name?

-Where do you live?
-In Iran.

In Iran?

Can I make a phone call?


Marjane? Is that you?

We were so worried.
No news in two months!

Dad, can I come home?

Of course.

Promise me, no questions.

I promise.

Here's your mother.


Mom, don't cry, please.

Come home, we're waiting for you.

-No one will ask you anything.

We promise.

Any forbidden goods, sister?

Pork, alcohol, playing cards, music...

...films, fashion, porn?

No, sir.

Fix your veil.

Yes, sir.

You may go.

Look! It's Marji!
My little girl...

I didn't recognize you.

-You're here.
-You've grown.

You're here.

The next day, I saw the mountains.
It had snowed.

My father wondered if he needed
snow chains to go to work.

We had breakfast together
as we used to.

My mother made me
my favorite omelet.

Nothing had changed
but, deep down, I knew...

...nothing would be like before.

We talked about this and that.

They respected my wishes
and asked nothing about Vienna.

I was anxious but also believed
that the nightmare was behind us.

The future could be brighter
now that the war was over.

The war is over. That's true.

But now it's almost worse.

People don't know
why we had a war.

Let her breathe.
She just got back.

It's all right, Mom.

The West sold weapons
to both sides...

...and we stupidly played
their cynical game.

Eight years of war for nothing.

A million dead for nothing.

The last days were terrible.

One month before the armistice,
Iraq bombed Tehran every day... if to wipe it off the map.

Towards the end,
the regime got scared...

...because an opposition army
had entered from Iraq.

The government feared the threat
posed by political prisoners.

The state adopted
a radical solution to the problem.

It gave the prisoners a choice.

Either they give up their ideas...

...swear loyalty to the regime...

...and do their time...

...or they would be executed.

The majority of them were executed.

Now they name streets
after the war martyrs.

That's all the families have left:
street names.

Walking in Tehran now is like
walking through a cemetery.

Lord, you've grown!

You'll grab God's balls soon!


So tell me everything.
How was Vienna?

Well, it was different...

-Remember Mina?
-Sure, she's my cousin.

She's married, with two kids.

As dumb as ever.

You remember Shila?

-She's an ugly cow.

Her face is so hairy.
She's like a gorilla.

And you remember Modjeh?

I remember everyone.

She got divorced.
Apparently, he had a tiny dick.

Or so Shari says.

Well, she told Mehri who told me.

You'll see them soon.

-Oh, no.

You must speak good German now.

Yes, a little.

I can say, "Ich liebe dich. "

Vienna reminds me of Empress Sissi.
Did you meet Romy Schneider?

Marjane, stars shine in the sky...

...and you shine in my heart.

You look like a nun.
Who'd guess you were in Europe?

You think so?

You must have loads to tell us.

Not really.

How were the Vienna nightclubs?

I didn't really go to nightclubs.
I don't like them.


-Ever slept with a guy?

-Is it good?
-It depends on the guy.

What? You've slept
with more than one?

Enroll in a prep class.

Get your nose fixed.

-Be an astronaut.
-Dress better.

It's 90 degrees out there!
I'm sick of this thing!

Damn hairdresser...'re unworthy of my son.

Hello, Anahita.

Marjane just went out.

Okay, I'll tell her.


You can't watch TV all day long.

Didn't you want to take that exam?

You're wasting
the best years of your life.

See people. Get a change of scenery.

They all piss me off.

There must be someone you like.

Just one among the 7 million here!

Yes, there was Kia,
an old childhood friend.

When I saw him,
I understood Grandma's words.

He's nearly dead.

Kia had been to war.

He'd lost an arm and a leg.

I had fun with him.

We even laughed. I realized
my problems weren't that bad.

His whole life is ruined
but he can still laugh.

I suppose that's the only way
to deal with it.

I keep telling myself that,
but I can't do it.

It's unbearable.

My life weighs down on me,
but who can I talk to?

You understand?

Everyone around me has suffered.

I was a stranger in Austria
and now I'm one in my own country.

Your condition has a name.

Effective treatment exists.

I'll give you some pills.

Sure you won't come with us?

The sea air will help.

No, I want to be alone.
Don't worry.

Why are you here, my dear?

Well, I'm dead.

Don't you know
your time hasn't come?

-It hasn't?
-You have to pull yourself together.

Yes! He's right for once!

You have a lot to do. Get moving!

Go and do what you have to do.

the struggle continues! Right?

Yeah, the struggle continues.

-I'm starving.
-Haven't you eaten?

The idiot's on a diet.

You're crazy.

She got a copy of Vogue.

She reads it all the time.

You've caught his eye.

You're embarrassing me.

We'll now talk about Botticelli...

...and, in particular,
The Birth of Venus.

We could also call this painting
Spring... Botticelli's other allegory
in the Uffizi Gallery.

In this painting...

You there!

What's so funny?

Want to bet I'll take my veil off?

-Come on, how much?

Four hundred tomans.

Go on.

In the early 1990s,
the age of great ideals was over.

After the Revolution,
so many students were imprisoned...

...we didn't dare discuss politics.

The war was behind us at last.

We were so eager for happiness,
we forgot we weren't free.

-Is that any way to dress?
-You hear me?

Beat it!

-Grandma, you're here?
-Yes, I came to see you.

You're all dolled up!

Are you in love?

Yes, I was meeting him earlier.

The Guardians turned up.
I had a close call.

Look how I'm made up!

I didn't know what to do.

But a guy was staring at me.

My only solution was to play
the poor, defenseless girl.

-Yes, sister.

A man just insulted me.

Where is the bastard?
We'll shut him up.

That's him on the steps there!

Shame on you.

Got a mother? A sister?
What if someone insulted them?

I didn't do anything!
I swear, on my mother's life!

-What did they do to him?
-They arrested him.

-You find that funny?
-Yes, don't you?

You're a selfish bitch,
that's what I think!

Grandma, I had no choice.

You had a choice!
Everyone has a choice!

Everyone always has a choice!

Your grandfather spent years in jail
for defending the innocent.

And your Uncle Anoush!

Have you forgotten why he died?

What have I taught you?


Does that word
mean anything to you?

Shame on you!

The lady with the shoulder bag,
stop running.

The lady with the bag,
stop running!

Hey, you, don't run!

Why are you running?

I'm late for my class!

Maybe, but you mustn't run.

When you run, your behind
moves in an obscene way.

So don't look at my ass!

This is crazy.
It's the same from every angle.

An anatomy class?
All you can see is her big nose.

You must all go... the main campus immediately.

All absentees will be barred
for two weeks.

We simply cannot behave badly.

Our martyrs' blood
nourished our revolution.

Indecent behavior scorns those
who gave their lives for us.

And so I'd like
the young ladies here... wear narrower trousers
and longer headscarves.

They should cover their hair
and not use make-up.

Any questions?

If not, the meeting is over.


You talk about our scarves
and trousers... say we use makeup, etc.

As an art student,
I'm often in the studio.

I need to move freely
in order to draw.

A longer scarf would hinder me.

You say our trousers are too wide
even though they hide our shape.

Since these trousers
are the fashion right now... religion
defending our integrity...

...or is it opposed to fashion?

You criticize us,
yet our brothers here...

...have different hair and clothes.

Sometimes we can even make out
their underwear.

Why, as a woman...

...should their tight clothes
have no effect on me...

...while a shorter headscarf
arouses them?

Good girl. That's like chopping
their tiny dicks off.

Take that hood off.
It makes me claustrophobic.

I forget I'm wearing it.

Never forget that.

Fear lulls our minds to sleep.

It turns us into cowards as well.

You showed guts. I'm proud of you.

-I want to leave.
-To go where?

Who cares. The USA or Europe.

Where in Europe?

Anywhere. I'm sick of Iran.

-What about us?
-You'll come too.

I don't want to leave.

You're still nostalgic.

You'll soon be sick
of people's meddling.

Maybe, but in the West nobody cares
if you die on the street.

Don't worry.

We'll manage somehow.

What's your relationship
with this man?

You know what happens now.

We call your parents.
They pay a fine or you get whipped.

When your mother and I were 15,
we'd walk hand in hand.

It was in this same country.

This is the way things are now,
my daughter.

You must be careful from now on.

You should avoid
being together in public.

It's impossible.
We can't go anywhere.

We're like prisoners.
What kind of life is this?


We should get married.


-Have you been crying, Mom?

I wanted you to be independent,
educated, cultured.

Now you're marrying at 21!

I want you to leave Iran,
to be free and emancipated!

Mom, trust me.
I know what I'm doing.

One year later

-Seen my car keys?

My car keys!

-I left them on the table.
-No idea.

They were just there.

-We share nothing.
-You're a great match.

The perfect couple.

Perfect, my ass!

Do you want my photo?


You used to say
how much in love you were.

It's easy to be in love
three hours a week.

Not when you share the same home.

Surely you're not getting divorced?

I don't know.

My sister left her husband
last year.

As soon as she was divorced...

...every man around
wanted to sleep with her.

The butcher made advances.

Then the baker too.

The grocer.

And even beggars!

Men all think their thing
is irresistible...

...and that a divorcee won't refuse
since she's not a virgin.

If life isn't hell,
stay with him.

What's got you in such a state?

Forgive me.

Of course.
But what has made you so sad?

Grandma. It's terrible.

What's so terrible?

I don't love Reza anymore.

I think we're going to separate.

So that's all it is?
I thought someone had died.

You're out of your mind.

You do this to me,
with my weak heart!

All these tears over a divorce!

Listen to me.

I did it 55 years ago...

...and no one got divorced
back then.

I knew I'd be happier alone
than with some jerk.

-There's no "but. "

The first marriage is practice
for the second.

You'll be happier next time round.

You're crying
because you were wrong.

It's hard
admitting your mistakes, hmm?

Where were you?

Why didn't you call?

-Nima is dead.

Nima is dead.

I'm leaving you.

It was time for me to leave.

I decided to go to France.

I had to wait three months
for a visa.

I went to the Caspian Sea
with my Grandma... fill my lungs
with its special air.

An air you find nowhere else.

I promised my grandfather
I'd make him proud.

Finally, I went to the prison
where Uncle Anoush lay...

...somewhere among thousands
of other innocents.

I swore to him to remain
as honest as possible.

Then came the day I left.

My father cried as usual.

You're going for good. You're free.

Today's Iran is not for you.

I forbid you to come back.

Yes, Mom.

-My little girl.

I never saw my grandmother again.

She died shortly thereafter.

Freedom always has a price.

Terrible weather.

Where are you coming from?


Grandma, you smell so good.
How do you do it?

I pick jasmine flowers
every morning.

When I dress,
I slip them inside my bra.

That way, I always smell good.

Wow! That's great!

Special thanks to SergeiK.