Cannes Film Festival: The second feminist demonstration on the red carpet and the film that makes Iran uncomfortable

Cannes Film Festival: The second feminist demonstration on the red carpet and the film that makes Iran uncomfortable

CANNES.- A new episode of protest, the second in 48 hours, occurred during the passage of guests on the red carpet of a gala ceremony and raised the concern of the organizers of the Cannes Film Festival 2022 because of the apparent ease with which several militants found breaking the whole security operation.

The second incident that occurred during the five days of the festival took place when the main presentation ceremony of Holy Spider, by Iranian director Ali Abbasi, who is taking part in the official competition for the Palme d’Or. In the middle of the red carpet, at least a dozen women dressed in lit black smoke bombs unfolding in front of the photographers a poster in which appear names indicated as victims of acts of gender violence that have occurred in France.

Several witnesses immediately recorded what happened and uploaded it to Twitter. On the images, we can see the group during the demonstration organized on the steps leading to the Grand Théâtre Lumière, place of the main gala ceremonies of the films in competition for the Palme d’Or. Some Twitter users present at the scene commented that the smoke reached inside the theater.

The event followed the highly commented appearance of a woman who, in the middle of the ceremony preceding the gala screening of the film Three thousand years of Longinus He arrived on the red carpet, took off almost all of his clothes and had the phrase “Stop raping us” painted on his bare chest in protest against sexual violence in Ukraine. The protester also had the colors of the Ukrainian flag painted on her skin, as well as swatches of red paint on her limbs.

The protester who stormed the Cannes Film Festival red carpet on Friday

Unlike the first episode, when the protester was immediately removed from the scene, this time security personnel did not intervene at first and the protesters managed to complete their objectives without moving from the steps. On the red carpet of holy spider were, among others, the actors Alicia Vikander, Noomi Rapace Yes Michael Fassbender, who arrived at the scene as well as the actors and officials of Holy Spirit after the demonstration.

holy spiderthe film in whose gala this second incident was recorded, It is inspired by real events that took place in Iran two decades ago. Its protagonist is a journalist who decides to investigate the deaths of 12 sex workers allegedly murdered by the same person in the city of Mashaad, the largest in the country behind the capital, Tehran.

A protester stormed the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday
A protester stormed the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on FridayVALERY HACHE – AFP

Journalistic chronicles of the time identified the serial killer as the “spider killer” because he caught victims in his own web and then strangled them. The first thing that caught Abbasi’s attention was that Mashaad is a holy city for Iranians and many ultra-conservative sectors said that this criminal was doing something justified, since he had decided to “clean up the streets prostitutes” to fulfill his religious duty. Several media and a large part of the population, as Abbasi recalled, also came out in favor of the murderer.

Abbasi has spent most of his career in Denmark, the country he moved to two decades ago. Today he also has Danish nationality. The highlight of his directing career is Frontier, the film that made him internationally known and with which he obtained an Oscar nomination. With holy spiderAbbasi planned to return to Tehran to shoot the film there, but local authorities denied him financial support and hid the project in bureaucratic hurdles, the director said.

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander arrive in Cannes to attend the screening of Holy Spider
Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander arrive in Cannes to attend the screening of Holy SpiderLoic Venance – AFP

Abbasi describes holy spider as the first black detective feature in Iranian history. The director wanted to shoot it in his native country, but encountered constant bureaucratic obstacles that forced him to want to shoot in Turkey. But the Turkish authorities refused permission and encouraged Iran to do the same, so holy spider It was made in Jordan.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter recently, Abbasi complained that Iranian cinema has been presented to the world for the past 50 years without showing the true identity of women. “Iranian women in the movies don’t have bodies, they are just faces hidden behind huge clothes. There is no physical contact between people, there is no kissing, and it is only recently that people are seen walking down the street in Iranian cinema.

The director said he was “tired” of this situation and decided to film holy spider as an answer. “My film is real, authentic. The women who appear there show their hair and their bodies, they live their sexuality. They are human beings. I feel like we are making a breakthrough and I hope there will be 50 films a year in Iran like holy spider from now on”.

But at the same time, he underlined his fear that Iran would encourage a strong local and international boycott of the showing of a film which, in his own words, “in terms of what is shown in terms of language and of nudity, will surely disturb the most conservative sectors of my country”.

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