Shadow Of Women’s Protest During The Premiere Of Iran’s ‘Holy Spider’ At Cannes 2022 

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A group of feminists protested against feminicides on Sunday at Cannes Film Festival during the screening of the Iranian film ‘Holy Spider,’ the women released the smoke as a symbol of their protest as they gathered on the red carpet. The protestors carried out a long list with the names of 129 women who had been assassinated in France since Cannes 2021. The incident took place near the Grand Theatre Lumiere.

The agitating women had left everyone startled both the viewers of the film and the organizers. ‘Holy Spider’ is a movie by Iranian-Danish litterateur Ali Abbasi. The film revolves around the story of a murder spree resembling Iran’s Jack the Ripper, who killed sex workers at Whitechapel in London’s East End in 1888. The incident happened on the streets of the religious city of Mashhad, where 16 sex workers were found dead in 2000 and 2001.

The Press statement released by Abbasi on the film reads, ” Abbasi said: “Holy Spider is about the rise and fall of one of Iran’s most infamous serial killers: Saeed Hanaei. In a larger context, the film is a critique of Iranian society, as the killer is a very religious man and a well-respected citizen. I was still living in Iran at the beginning of the 2000s when Saeed Hanaei was killing street prostitutes in the holy city of Mashhad. He managed to kill 16 women before he was caught and put on trial. It was during his trial that the story really caught my attention. In a normal world, there is no doubt that a man who had killed 16 people would be seen as guilty. But here it was different: a part of the public and the conservative media began to celebrate Hanaei as a hero. They upheld the idea that Hanaei simply had to fulfill his religious duty to clean the streets of the city by killing these ‘dirty’ women. This was when the idea of making this movie came to me”.

This movie was filmed in Jordan and has all the reasons to outrage Tehran for the portrayal of topless women and several sex scenes.

Earlier, on Friday another group of women had staged a protest at Cannes during the world premiere of George Miller’s 3000 Years of Longing against alleged sexual violence from Russian forces against the women of Ukraine. 

Thus, so far twice the Cannes 2022 has witnessed such a situation where its security was questioned.


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