The Cannes Film Festival is known for its glitz, glam, films, and all-around entertainment. The festival's red carpet is usually the most talked-about event, with fans debating the stars' various outfits and styles on social media and online. The Cannes Red Carpet has served as inspiration and generated interest across the world once again this year, but instead of the fashion, people have been talking about the three-day-long demonstrations.
Before the screening of Holy Spider, about 12 women walked the red carpet, carrying a banner with the initial names of 129 women killed in France since the last time the festival was held.
The collective group, "Les Colleuses" unveiled a banner with a list of names and that reads at the end "129 feminicides since the last Cannes festival" at the premiere of the film 'Holy Spider' at the 75th Cannes Film festival.
According to Agence France-Presse, the group are members of the feminist group Les Colleuses. Security seemed unfazed by the event, allowing the protestors to be filmed and photographed.
A female investigative journalist investigates the serial homicide of sex workers in the Iranian holy city of Mashhad in the film directed by Iranian-born Ali Abbasi. The murders are being carried out by the "Spider Killer," who believes he is purging the streets of sinners.
It is based on the true story of Saeed Hanaei, a serial killer who murdered at least 16 women. Some Islamist extremists hailed him as a hero, a scene repeated in Holy Spider.
As they stood on the steps in front of the Palais des Festivals, the gang, dressed in black, also set off black smoke bombs. As the activists posed for photographs and were videoed, security made no attempt to interrupt the protest. Raymond Depardon, an award-winning French documentary filmmaker, was photographed.
‘Stop raping us’
The protest by members of Les Colleuses was the second one that the Cannes Film Festival saw this year.
A topless protester stormed the red carpet before the opening of George Miller's Three Thousand Years Of Longing on Friday, protesting alleged rapes of Ukrainians by Russian forces.
She tore off her gown to display the words "stop rapping us" scrawled in English on her stomach, set against the Ukrainian flag's colors. The message was also shouted by her. Red painted handprints covered her waist and legs.
Her body was also covered with red paint that looked like blood. "Don't rape us," the demonstrator cried as security agents surrounded her.
The woman is a member of the French group SCUM, which identifies itself as "radical feminist activists," according to later reports.
SCUM stated she went there to "denounce the sexual abuse done on Ukrainian women in the context of the war" on Twitter.
The Russian military have been accused of using rapes and other forms of sexual abuse against Ukrainian civilians as a weapon of war.
The gender gap protest in 2018
Following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, concerns about women's safety and wage equality became major subjects in Hollywood.
This was demonstrated at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival when 82 women marched up the red carpet, stood on the stairwell, clasped arms, and turned away from the Palais des Festivals and toward the audience.
Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, and Salma Hayek, as well as Patty Jenkins, Marion Cotillard, Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux, and Khadja Nin, took part in the red carpet demonstration to expose the industry's gender inequality.
"Women are not a minority in the globe, although the current status of our industry implies otherwise," Cate Blanchett declared as part of their demonstration.
The festival, which runs until May 28 and is the first to reopen to full capacity since the outbreak of Covid-19, is one of the most important occasions in the cinema calendar.