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Why the new Iranian film 'Sacred Spider' feels important

I have no fear. I can’t go back to Iran anyway – I made up my mind a few years ago 10. So it was important to me to see that this movie could happen and it was possible to make a movie about the reality of Iran. We know this is not what the government wants.

You are so nervous. Does it have anything to do with why you left Iran?

Yes, I managed to connect my own life experiences, especially my last year, to this role. She was younger in the script, but when I joined, we changed her to my age. I think it helps me increase my experience. Ali and I had many hours of discussions wondering what her motives were? Why would she risk her life to investigate the murder? I keep thinking, is it news? Are all journalists willing to risk their lives in this way? I don’t think so. But maybe when I get on board to play her, I naturally generate something. When you are fighting for yourself, you are also fighting for others. This is what I saw today. A week ago, I got a call from a friend in Iran who told me, “I’m going to the streets for you because I want you to come back and you can’t ask me not to go.” I just thought, yeah, all these women are in Fight for freedom – but not just for their own freedom.

What do you think will happen in Iran? Watching these protests is fascinating, but also frightening. What do you think will happen next?

You know, Ali always says this movie isn’t about a serial killer. This is a society about serial killers. It’s an important thing about Iran, and it’s general, but I do understand him. This is a patriarchal society and we are talking about misogyny in Iran. But what’s happening is, I think the society is changing. A new generation – and I think not just a new generation – is fighting for women’s rights and human rights. I think there is a half-broken wall. Maybe we need time to rest. But the change is there and the revolution is happening, especially because men and women are together and fighting for their freedom. I am a fairly optimistic person. I know it’s sad and I cry thinking of someone who was almost killed right now, but I see no fear.

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