France: Oscar winners cut off their hair for Iran protesters

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Oct 05, 2022

PARIS (AP) — Oscar-winning actors Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, as well as other French screen and music stars, have filmed themselves chopping off locks of their hair in a video to support protesters in Iran.

The video, released Wednesday on Instagram and hashtagged 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 for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

Binoche said “for freedom" as she hacked off a large handful of her hair.

Dozens of women took part.

They included actors Charlotte Rampling and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who was also filmed cutting hair off her mother, singer Jane Birkin.

The gesture, considered highly symbolic, also echoes Iranian history and folklore in which women who chop off their hair are a sign of protest.

Persian poet Ferdowsi mentions the gesture in his book The Shahnameh, published between 977 and 1010 A.D.

In it, a princess chops off her hair in protest against the death of her husband, and it's seen as unfair.