Iran protests

Exiled Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani lauds protests over Amini’s death

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Exiled Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani said Tuesday that she was filled with admiration for the protesters in Iran: “beautiful, feminine, hair in the wind, asking simply for freedom.”

The 39-year-old star of films including “Extraction” and “Body of Lies,” has lived in exile in France for more than a decade.

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She has largely avoided politics in the past, but that has changed with the protests that broke out last month in Iran over the death in custody of a young woman arrested for breaking the strict Islamic dress code.

“I have never really talked about politics, but this event triggered something very physical and visceral in me,” she told AFP.

Farahani now relays information constantly to her 14 million followers on Instagram.

She said some people in the West were nervous about supporting the protests for fear of seeming Islamophobic, adding that she was saddened by the silence of some feminists in the United States and elsewhere.

“This is not a fight about religion, about Islam, or a judgement on the headscarf – it’s just about the freedom to choose whether you wear it or not,” she said.

Despite many protests in Iran over the years, she feels “this time it’s different.”

Her peers were afraid and traumatized by the revolution of 1979 and the war with Iraq in the 1980s but the youth on the streets today do not carry that baggage, she said.

“We were afraid, but they aren’t scared, they aren’t ashamed,” she said.

Farahani said she used to shave her head as a child to pass as a boy.

“I was able to be free in Iran only be killing my femininity. I thought being a woman would always be an obstacle,” she said.

“This generation wants to keep their hair long and not wear the headscarf.”

The actor said she felt absurd promoting a new film (French movie “Une Comedie Romantique”) while dozens were dying in the streets back home.

But she hopes that “symbolically it shows that no one can stop us from laughing, dancing, being joyful.”

Read more:

Factbox: Death of young Iranian woman puts spotlight on morality police

Iran judiciary chief: Amini death an ‘excuse’ for unrest instigated by Israel and US

Visitors to Iran should respect laws, foreign ministry says as protests continue

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