Interview with Director Marjane Satrapi: On Artistic Freedom, Fame & Finishing No Matter What

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Marjane Satrapils is a person gifted with perfect charisma: she's loyal, funny, brutally honest, and she has a big, big soul that's visible from across a room. Not to mention she's one of the most original artists working today.

The Academy Award-nominated director and best-selling author of Persepolis recently visited the fifth annual Kustendorf Film and Music Festival to screen her new live action film, Chicken with Plums. A passion project of Balkan director Emir Kusturica, Kustendorf brings together new student filmmakers with some of the world's greatest auteurs in the mountains of Mokra Gora. Satrapi enchanted the audience at a special workshop, where more than a few young men broke traditional Q&A form to stand up and declare their love for her.

Why were you attracted to the graphic novel art form? 
Well for me, who is someone who cannot choose between writing and drawing, it was the best way of expressing myself. And I enjoyed doing it for a long time very much, but it's very solitary. And now the love of my life is the cinema, and maybe in three years it will be something else. But I don't have any career plans like, oh, I will do this or that.

Life is too short and we cannot spoil it. I don't have 300 years in front of me. So I just do the things that I really want to do at the moment because that's the only way you will do them well. If you don't believe in yourself, it won't work. 

Because creation, you know, it means that you don't have any salary, you don't have any retirement, all of that. So if you don't have the security, at least have the freedom. I go for the freedom.


Photograph by Maria Ortiz.

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