Oscar-winning actors Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, as well as other French stars of screen and music, have filmed themselves chopping off locks of their hair in a video posted in support of protesters in Iran.
“For freedom,” Binoche said as she hacked a large handful of hair off the top of her head with a pair of scissors, before brandishing it in front of the camera.
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The video posted on Wednesday, hash-tagged #HairForFreedom, comes as Iran is engulfed by anti-government protests. They were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest on September 13 in Tehran for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code.
Iranian women have taken off their headscarves and cut their hair to protest against Amini’s death.
The video of Cotillard, Binoche and dozens of other women cutting off locks of their hair was released on an Instagram account, “soutienfemmesiran” – which translates as “support women in Iran”.
“These women, these men are asking for our support. Their courage and their dignity obliges us,” said a post with the video.
“We have decided to respond to the appeal made to us by cutting – us too – some of these locks.”
Some of the other women who took part included actors Charlotte Rampling and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who was also filmed cutting off a lock of hair from the head of her mother, singer Jane Birkin.
Since Amini’s death, Iran’s rulers have been grappling with the biggest nationwide unrest in years. More than 130 people have died in clashes and protests, according to rights groups.
Protests in solidarity with Iranian demonstrators have spread abroad including to London, Paris, Rome and Madrid.
“Iranian women expect support from the international community. This is a beautiful way to show that support,” French lawyer Richard Sedillot, who initiated the action, told Reuters news agency.
“This is only a first step, I hope that everybody in the world will follow, not only actresses but everyone. Men could also cut their hair; I think it will happen.”
Lawyers, media personalities and other women in France have followed suit.