Group invades Cannes red carpet to highlight violence towards women
Protests about women’s safety have taken place at the Cannes film festival for the second time in a matter of days, after a group invaded the red carpet at a premiere of a film about the killing of sex workers.
About 12 women went on to the red carpet before the screening of Holy Spider, carrying a banner with the first names of 129 women killed in France since the last time the festival was held.
The group, dressed in black, also set off black smoke grenades as they paused on steps in front of the Palais des Festivals. According to Agence France-Presse, the group are members of the feminist group Les Colleuses.
Security did not attempt to stop the protest as the activists posed for photographs and were videoed. The award-winning French documentary maker Raymond Depardon could be seen taking photos.
The demonstration took place before the actors and others involved with Holy Spider had arrived. In the film, directed by the Iranian-born Ali Abbasi, a female investigative journalist looks into the serial killing of sex workers in the Iranian holy city of Mashhad. The “Spider Killer” is behind the murders, believing he is clearing the streets of sinners.
It is based on the real life story of Saeed Hanaei, who killed at least 16 women. He became a hero to some Islamist militants, a scenario mirrored in Holy Spider.
On Friday a protester stormed the red carpet before the world premiere of George Miller’s film Three Thousand Years of Longing, demonstrating against sexual violence by Russian forces in Ukraine.
She stripped off her gown to reveal the words “stop raping us” written in English on her stomach, against a backdrop of the colours of the Ukrainian flag. She also shouted the message. Her waist and legs were covered in red painted handprints.
The woman is part of the French group Scum, which describes themselves as “radical feminist activists”.
Four years ago dozens of female actors protested against gender discrimination in the film industry.
The festival, one of the main dates in the cinema calendar, is running until 28 May and is the first to return to full spectator capacity after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.