Iranian expat author/artist Marjane Satrapi had a breakthrough hit with “Persepolis,” her graphic novel about growing up in revolutionary Iran, and she teamed up with director Vincent Paronnaud to bring her story to the big screen in 2007. It worked fantastically well, fully retaining the unique black-and-white illustrated vibe of the books, in an age where most filmmakers seem to think every comic book/graphic novel is better realized using actors.
Yet it was easy to think she might be a one-hit wonder, like Art Spiegelman was with “Maus.” “Persepolis” was so deeply personal and rooted in her own experience, that you wondered what she could possibly do for a followup. The answer: dig deeper into her family’s history. “Poulet aux Prunes” (“Chicken and Plums” in English and its equivalent in Japanese, though stewed chicken with prunes — delicious in a tajine — would be more accurate) saw Satrapi telling a story that was half fable, half rooted in the life of her great uncle, a noted musician in 1950s Iran.