The Gang of The Jotas from Marjan Satrapi is in the making.
At first, after the hit animation based on her comic novel, Jotas seems like a complete right turn for Satrapi. However on closer inspection the dark, quirky style of Jotas has a certain resonance with the inner world of the teenage Marjane in Persepolis. Set in Spain, Satrapi has written a mob suitcase-comedy in French, to follow her last film Chicken with Plums with gusto.
We need more dark comedy from Iran, because satire and comedy has been a useful cultural tool for dealing with trauma, government corruption and social ills the world over. Not that Satrapi’s film is directly from Iran, nor is it dealing with any of these themes directly in this moody drama, which instead takes all of its quirkyness from the historical French cinema we have come to know and love (Delicatessan etc.). Instead Satrapi is influencing Iranian cinema at a tangent, for no doubt many fans will be Iranian and some will be handy with a camera. Hopefully they will pick up on the powerful tools of lampoon, pasquinade and spoof.