Perhaps the best known work of Iranian pop culture in recent years is "Persepolis," the animated film adaptation of the 2000 graphic novel by Iranian-French artist Marjane Satrapi. Both works were based on her fascinating life story:
Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with the communist and socialist movements in Iran, prior to the Iranian Revolution. She attended the Lycée Français there and witnessed, as a child, the growing suppression of civil liberties and the everyday-life consequences of Iranian politics, including the fall of the Shah, the early regime of Ruhollah Khomeini, and the first years of the Iran-Iraq war.
For anyone hoping to get an easily absorbed lesson in the modern history of Iran, "Persepolis" is a must read. Also, two fans of Satrapi recently created an updated version illustrating the current uprising; don't miss it.The movie really helped me get past Iranians as somehow "other". Hitch's review is here.