‘Rings of Power’ Actress Nazanin Boniadi Asks for International Attention Towards Iran Protests
Women of Tolkein’s works are not wallflowers, and neither are the women who play them. British-Iranian actress and Amnesty International ambassador Nazanin Boniadi, who plays Bronwyn the Southlands human healer in Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, is using her platform to raise awareness to Iranian women’s protests of the morality police and the government that supports them.
The protests broke out after the death of a young woman at the hands of the morality police. 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested on September 16th for not wearing a hijab and died in police custody. While the police say she suffered a heart attack, her family stated she suffered no heart conditions and were refused the right to see their daughter, who they say was beaten to death by the police.
Since then, women-led protests have dominated the streets, with Iranian women burning their hijabs and cutting their hair in protest of the laws that led to Mahsa Amini’s arrest.
Nazanin Boniadi, who was born in Iran, has already been interviewed by PBS and is tweeting out support for the protestors while also recontextualizing certain misconceptions about the narrative of women’s rights vs cultural traditions.
She also tweets out videos taken of protestors, which show men and women working side-by-side to push back police, overturn their cars, bring down Islamic Republic flags, and in general, start a revolution. Nazanin has also been promoting sites like IranianRights.org, which document human rights abuses and warning people about the dangers of the government cutting off Internet access and murdering protestors at night.
The danger is very real, and the Iranian government has already made its position clear; Photojournalist Yalda Moaiery and Activist Fatemeh Sepehri have already been arrested, with very little word being given as to their conditions. And it’s not just Iranian women inside the country who are feeling the pressure of the Iranian government.
President Raisi went so far as to ask British-Iranian Journalist Christiane Amanpour to wear a headscarf during their interview scheduled for this week, despite the facts that 1) the interview was taking place on American soil and 2) she had never worn a headscarf even when interviewing previous Iranian presidents. She refused. They canceled the interview.
Could you imagine if President Biden demanded women remove their headscarves or wear crosses before they could interview him? Of course, it’s all about messaging. President Raisi was asking Amanpour to serve as a prop, to show the women of Iran that their rage is invalid, that if a British woman can do it, why can’t they?
Thankfully, Amanpour isn’t playing that game, and neither are Nazanin Boniadi or the millions of Iranian women and men protesting a government that denies them basic human rights.
(image: Amazon Studios)
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