Tuesday, July 16, 2024
NewsWomen's Rights

French female cinema icons cut hair in solidarity with Iranian women

In a stunning video campaign, some of France’s top film talents such as Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, and Isabelle Huppert cut their hair to protest Iran’s persecution of women.

More than 50 French women who work in the film and music industries have joined a video campaign in which they cut their hair on camera in protest at Iran’s crackdown on women’s freedom, and in solidarity with the women who are standing up to the oppressive Middle Eastern regime.

French actresses Isabelle Adjani, Berenice Bejo, Juliette Binoche, Laure Calamy, Marion Cotillard, Julie Gayet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Isabelle Huppert and expat Charlotte Rampling are among those high profile actors sharing video of themselves cutting off chunks of their hair. Binoche kicks off the video declaring, “For Freedom!”

It comes after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in police custody on September 16 after being arrested by “morality police” for not wearing her hijab in accordance with the country’s strict religious laws, and allowing some strands of hair to be visible.

Amini was, according to her family, a healthy young woman but officials have said she died of a heart attack. Eyewitnesses and detainees during the incident said she was severely beaten by police. Other reports say she was tortured and killed while in police custody.

Under Islamic religious law it is believed that a woman uncovering her hair is an invitation to immorality.

Since news of Amini’s death, protests have erupted in Iranian cities.

“Since Mahsa’s death on September 16, the Iranian people, led by women, have been protesting at the risk of their lives. These people only hope for access to the most essential freedoms. These women, these men, are asking for our support,” read a statement (translated from French) accompanying the video.

“Their courage and dignity oblige us [to act]. It is impossible not to denounce again and again this terrible repression. There have been dozens of deaths, including children. The arrests are swelling the number of prisoners already illegally held and too often tortured. We decided to answer the call that was thrown at us by cutting some of these locks.”

The video campaign comes as an open letter signed by more than 1,000 figures from the world of French cinema supporting the protests in Iran was released on Tuesday.

Women around the world have shown their support on social media by joining protests and also by cutting a lock of hair and posting the act with the hashtag #HairForFreedom on social platforms as a sign of solidarity for Iranian women.

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