A woman who had to leave Iran uses her trauma to make a movie.
Zar Amir Ebrahimi had to leave Iran after an intimate tape got out. Now that her movie “Holy Spider” is out in the U.S., she is mesmerized by the protests going on there.
Zar Amir Ebrahimi, who won the award for best actress at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, said in a recent interview, “I know that fear, I know that humiliation.” “I know how powerful men in Iran keep you quiet.”
Ebrahimi is an Iranian who left her country in 2008 after being the target of a campaign of lies about her love life. Now, that experience and her role in the movie “Holy Spider,” which comes out in the U.S. on Oct. 28, have come together in a shocking way, as women in Iran are burning their head scarves to protest the Islamic Republic’s oppression.
The story of Rahimi, a made-up investigative journalist at the center of “Holy Spider,” is about a woman who doesn’t back down when a man hurts her. Based on the true story of Saeed Hanaei, a serial killer who preyed on prostitutes in the Iranian city of Mashhad, a religious center, the movie follows Rahimi’s unflinching and sometimes terrifying attempts to get into the world of men who were covering up Hanaei’s crimes.
During the 75-minute interview in Paris, Ebrahimi’s pale eyes burned as she said, “We need to finish this story.” “We have to get rid of this Islamic Republic. Today, women know what their rights are. They know what life is and what it means to have freedom of speech. There is no other way, but it will take time and blood.”
Ali Abbasi, an Iranian exile who lives in Copenhagen, needed time and flexibility to make “Holy Spider.” The Iranian government was against the project, so filming couldn’t happen there. After months of planning, the production was stopped by the Turkish government, which seemed to be under pressure from Tehran. Ebrahimi says that the young Iranian actress who was supposed to play Rahimi suddenly quit out of fear of retaliation right before filming was about to start in Jordan.
Ebrahimi, who was in charge of casting for the movie at the time, said, “I got so mad at her.” “And I think that Ali saw something in me that night when I was so crazy.