Director: Ali Abbasi Run Time: 117 min. Release Year: 2022 Language: Persian (Farsi)
Starring: Arash Ashtiani, Forouzan Jamshidnejad, Mehdi Bajestani, Sina Parvaneh, Zar Amir Ebrahimi
Female journalist Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) travels to the Iranian holy city of Mashhad to investigate a serial killer who believes he is doing the work of God, cleansing the streets of sinners by murdering sex workers. As the body count mounts, and Rahimi draws closer to exposing his crimes, the opportunity for justice grows harder to attain as the ‘Spider Killer’ is embraced by many as a hero. Based on the horrific true story of serial killer Saeed Hanaei, acclaimed writer-director Ali Abbasi (Border) unveils a gripping crime thriller, and a daring indictment of a society in which rough justice is routinely a fact of life.
Ali Abbasi is a writer and director, born in Iran but now living in Stockholm. His feature debut, Shelley, premiered at the Berlinale in 2016 and was released in the US. He is best known for his 2018 film Border, which premiered in Cannes, where it won the Prix Un Certain Regard. The film was chosen as Sweden’s Academy Award® Entry, was widely released internationally, won the Danish Film Award and was nominated for three European Film Awards including Best Director, Best Screenwriter & Best Film. He is currently shooting the TV adaptation of “The Last of Us” for HBO in Canada.
“Notwithstanding its grim subject, Holy Spider mostly eschews true-crime orthodoxy thanks to Abbasi’s moody, jittery direction and Amir-Ebrahimi’s marvelous, finely tuned performance.” ~ Andrew Wyatt, The Lens
“Holy Spider’s rendition of this grisly tale is powerful and precise, commendably lacking the sensationalistic tone of some serial killer movies.” ~ Godfrey Cheshire, rogerebert.com
Drama, World Cinema