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Iran’s next revolution will be female, says Cannes winner

Iranian actress and director, awarded Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, Zar Amir Ebrahimi, poses during a photo session in Paris on June 21, 2022. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)
Iranian actress and director, awarded Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, Zar Amir Ebrahimi, poses during a photo session in Paris on June 21, 2022. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Iran’s next revolution will be brought on by women taking back the freedoms denied to them in the Islamic Republic, says Zar Amir Ebrahimi, the winner of this year’s Best Actress award at Cannes.

Amir Ebrahimi took the prize for her role in “Holy Spider” as a journalist in Iran who investigates a serial killer murdering prostitutes, and who has to contend with a deeply misogynistic society placing many obstacles in her way.

But in contrast to the movie’s hopelessly grim take on attitudes toward women in Iran — which became an Islamic republic after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah — Amir Ebrahimi says she was now detecting signs that women were finally fighting back.

“If there ever is another revolution in Iran, it will be a revolution by women,” she says in an interview with AFP.

“Women are fighting to keep the few rights they have in this society. They are rolling up their sleeves and they dress differently. They go out and sing, and form clandestine dance groups. There has been so much pressure on us, we’re ready to explode. That’s why I have hope. Change has to happen,” she said.

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