They made the news. Zar Amir Ebrahimi, the revelation of the Cannes Film Festival 2022 as a revenge on life

Zar Amir Ebrahimi still wakes up from this dream. the May 28, 2022, the Iranian actress receives from the hands of Guillaume Canet the prize for female interpretation at the Cannes Film Festival. An award for her role as a journalist who investigates a series of murders in the film holy spiderwhich will be released in France on July 13, under the title Nights of Mashhad.

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In her seven-minute speech, Zar Amir Ebrahimi paid tribute to Iranian women, women of the world in a speech in Farsi, English and French. “It’s a film full of hate, hands, feet, sex, everything you can’t edit in Iran”she said very moved.

More than a month and a half after her award, the actress remembers that moment: “I try to wake up, I was surprised, we can even say shocked, I did not expect this award even though I received a lot of positive comments about this film during the festival.” When she goes on stage, she wants “enjoy the moment, watch all these people from the cinema who ()applaud”. “To be honest, I hardly remember anything”says Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Iranian actress and director

To 41-year-old Zar Amir Ebrahimi sees this award as a reward for long, patient work. When she arrived in France, almost 15 years ago, she didn’t speak the language, had no contact. She had to start from scratch. This is what passes for all exiles, according to her: “No matter who you were who or who you are, it took me a long time to learn the language.”

Zar Amir Ebrahimi’s life took a turn in 2006. Recognized actress in Iran, her career was shattered in full flight following the dissemination without her consent of an intimate video on the internet “stolen by a friend of (his) lover at the time”. The scandal is immense in this very conservative and patriarchal society. “It created a sick vibe, everyone was watching it, it was selling out on the streets, there wasn’t even TikTok or Instagram”recalls Zar Amir Ebrahimi.

I risked prison, a work ban, I wanted to fight, to defend myself

Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Iranian actress

The film industry, his colleagues, his friends turn their backs on him. We live in a totalitarian society. There is denunciation, betrayals. But even in this society, I wanted to stay, to work and then after six months, I said to myself, I have to leave”explains the actress.

Today, she hopes to impose herself in French cinema and that the directors will not confine her to roles that confine her. France is “a very beautiful mix of cultures and that’s what I want to see in the cinema too”according to the actress. She hopes this award will open doors for her: “I have proposals, but it’s very recent, I hope that with this price it will continue”. She says become “more demanding because life is short”.

Zar Amir Ebrahimi would like to return to Iran one day. “I miss my family, the streets of Tehran, my travels in Iran“, she confides. For the time being, her film is banned there, the Iranians to see it do it “under the coat”. Today she feels more French than Iranian: she has found in her adopted country “a second family”.

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They made the news. Zar Amir Ebrahimi, the revelation of the Cannes Film Festival 2022 as a revenge on life