QUOTE OF THE WEEK: ‘Persepolis’s’ Marjane Satrapi, on the profound power of words


“All big changes of the world come from words,” Satrapi tells Comic Riffs. (Illustration by MICHAEL CAVNA 2012 )

MARJANE SATRAPI does not want to be the voice of a population or a generation. The “Persepolis” author/director says she simply wants to bring her words to comics and cinema, in the hopes they make a difference.

“Every dictator’s regime goes after the cartoonists and filmmakers,” says the Oscar-nominated filmmaker, who as a girl experienced firsthand the violence of the Iranian revolution.

“All big changes of the world come from words,” Satrapi says from Paris during her interview with Comic Riffs. “Everybody who expresses something that doesn’t go in the direction of what the thinking should be — if it doesn’t fit the propaganda — they try to stop them.”

Satrapi struck a similar chord doing her talk Friday night at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. Without words, she said to the crowd, what true power do people have to create change?

As the France-based Satrapi visits the United States in support of her latest film adaptation, “Chicken With Plums,” may her provocative words ring as a verbal tour de force.

[A note regarding the cartoon portrait (top): Satrapi, an avid smoker, delights in wafting and dancing cigarette smoke as a virtual cinematic character; in “Chicken With Plums,” cig smoke even lingers as the spiritual residue of a long-puffing soul. This illustration salutes her smoke-love with some cloudy effects both in the air and on her shirt — and the cartoony arm is a nod to her deft comics hand.]

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Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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