10 21 oct '23
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Ali Abbasi

Holy Spider

Gala Premières en speciale evenementen 116' - 2022 - Crime, Drama, Thriller - Dialogue: Persian
Director: Ali Abbasi Composer: Martin Dirkov With: Zar Amir-Ebrahimi, Mehdi Bajestani, Arash Ashtiani
Holy Spider is both a thriller in which a serial killer is chased by a journalist, and a merciless dissection of Iran, the homeland of director Ali Abbasi (Gräns).
In Mashhad, the second-largest city in Iran, construction worker Saeed Hanaei murdered sixteen sex workers in 2000 and 2001 by strangling them with their hidjab. The serial killer became a folk hero to the religious right for claiming to be on a holy mission and that "he purged the city of prostitution". Director Ali Abbasi, who moved to Sweden when he was twenty, stays close to the macabre reality, but adds a journalist who investigates the murders and observes that women in Iran - be they reporters or sex workers - are second-class citizens in an autocratic-patriarchal society. Holy Spider - the title refers to the killer's nickname - is therefore both intensely moving and chilling. For her portrayal of the journalist, Zar Amir Ebrahimi won the award for Best Actress in Cannes last spring.
“A fictionalised true-crime drama-thriller based on Iranian Saeed Hanaei, nicknamed Spider Killer, who in 2001 was arrested for the murder of sixteen sex workers in the city of Mashhad, and became a folk hero to the religious right for claiming to be on a holy mission to cleanse the city of prostitution." - The Guardian

Image gallery

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Credits

Director

Ali Abbasi

Composer

Martin Dirkov

With

Zar Amir-Ebrahimi, Mehdi Bajestani, Arash Ashtiani

Scenario

Ali Abbasi, Afshin Kamran Bahrami

Director of Photography

Nadim Carlsen

Editor

Olivia Neergaard-Holm

Producer

Sol Bondy, Jacob Jarek

Production studios

Profile Pictures

Distributor

Cinéart

More information

Dialogue

Persian

Countries of production

Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden

Year

2022

Filmography

Ali Abbasi
Officer Relaxing After Duty (short, 2008), M for Markus (short, 2011), Shelley (2016), Border (2018), Holy Spider(2022)

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