« The veil in Persepolis | Main | Visible vs Invisible »

"inner" and "outer" daily life in Persepolis

There is definitely a clear distinction between public and private life in the movie Persepolis. Marjane loves punk rock music; she walks around the streets covered in a veil, blending in with all the other women, but takes it off and headbangs to Iron Maiden the minute she reaches the privacy of her own room. One scene in particular shows the drastic measures taken to conceal "inner" life activities. This scene is the party scene in Iran. Marjane and her group of guy and girl friends are dancing, drinking, and the girls have their veils off and let their hair hang down. Soon the cops come to bust the party. The boys take off and hide. The women pour the alcohol down the toilet, put their veils on, turn off the music, and stand in a straight line like criminals. The cops start chasing the men across the rooftops and one of them falls to their death after not making the jump from one house to another. According to lecture this time was probably 1983 when strict public segregation of the sexes was inforced, public veiling required, and make-up prohibited. Everytime Marjane puts her veil on in the film she looks very sad and hangs her head. It's like having the veil on shows that she should be ashamed and hide herself. Early in the film she attempts to point the finger at the men.

Everyone was sitting in the auditorium, the woman fully veiled and the men slouching, relaxing in their own clothing. Marjane says, "Why, as a woman, shouldn't men's tight clothing offend me?" The system is so incredibly sexist; the women are punished and hidden in order to have a 'decent' society. This is why there was such a difference between public and private life in Iran; there were so many rules publicly that you couldn't do anything outside of the privacy of your own home.
Nellie Marshall