Kristen Stewart Spoke Up In Solidarity With The Women, Life, Freedom Protest Against The Iranian Regime

"Whether you like it or not, this festival in particular, historically, is, in a positive way, confrontational and political.”

During the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival, Kristen Stewart spoke up for human rights in Iran alongside Iranian filmmakers and actors. 

On Saturday, Variety reported that Stewart (this year’s Berlinale jury president) joined the “Women, Life, Freedom” demonstration against Iran’s repressive regime on the Berlin red carpet. The group of professionals in the film industry raised signs in the air with the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom”, which has become a call to action for the anti-government human rights activists. Since September, the activists have been protesting worldwide, making their voices heard, and their latest stop in Berlin. 

At the silent protest that focused on human rights, the protestors also held demonstrations for women’s rights in Iran, climate change, and fair wages for Berlin movie theater workers. They held signs with photos of female Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, who were arrested for reporting on Mahsa Amini's death, according to Reuters. They also protested, demanding for the release of dissident Iranian hip hop artist Toomaj Salehi, who is accused of spreading propaganda and could face the death penalty, CNN reported.

Stewart joined hand in hand with Berlinale executive director Mariëtte Rissenbeck, artistic director Carlo Chatrian, and fellow jury member and Iranian-American star of The Siren, Golshifteh Farahani.

On opening night, Farahani said: “This regime lies … executes. The prisons of Iran are full of innocent people. We need you to stand on the right side of history with the Iranian people. This regime will fall.”

Kristen Stewart Demonstration

“The wall of dictatorship is a thick wall … the revolution in South Africa took 800 days, ours has been just five months,” she added. “This wall is one of oppression, attacking human rights. We need all of you. We need Germany, France, Europe. We need you to stand on the right side and to acknowledge it. Call it a revolution.”

Historically, the festival has become a forum to shed light on social and political issues and promote social change and justice. And this year, the festival opened up by celebrating the people of Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion, according to The Hollywood Reporter

"Whether you like it or not, this festival in particular, historically, is in a positive way, confrontational and political," said Stewart at the opening press conference, THR reported.

Since September, protests have erupted across Iran and unfolding worldwide when the country's morality police detained 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini for not covering her hair in public, which the law requires. Three days later, she died in police custody.

Related Articles