Serial killer of Iranian prostitutes - a national hero? The Holy Spider movie asks

in 2001 Construction worker Saeed Hanaei was arrested in Iran. The accusations against him were confirmed - this man, who did not stand out on the street, killed 16 women. Until then, stories about the mysterious Spider-Killer published in newspapers in the city of Mashhad had frightened residents, but after learning the identity of the criminal, some Iranians expressed support for the serial killer. Based on real facts, this story is interpreted in a feature film by director Ali Abbasi. The thriller was awarded at the Cannes Film Festival on January 13. will appear in Lithuanian cinemas. 

Saeed Hanaei served in the army and, unlike his friends, returned from the war unscathed by bullets and shrapnel. Saeed decided that God had called him to do greater things on this earth. Faithful to his religion and the teachings of God Allah, Saeed feels that his mission is to cleanse Iranian society of misguided, immoral people. In the holy city of Mashhad, his attention is drawn to prostitutes looking for customers in the streets on dark evenings. 

This is how the father of three children becomes a serial killer - in his own modestly furnished apartment, he strangles poverty-stricken women who sell their bodies with scarves. In the evenings, Saeed falls asleep peacefully because God is pleased with his work - he is carrying out Allah's mission. This 2000-2001 The story that shocked Iranian society is interpreted in the film "Holy Spider", which is in the running for an Oscar in the category of foreign films. 

"Holy Spider" director Ali Abbasi grew up in Iran and remembers the mood in the country in the early 2000s. Crime and rampaging serial killers were the order of the day in Iran, but the story of the Spider-Killer was anything but ordinary. She drew the director's attention when voices supporting the murderer of prostitutes were heard in public. Some Iranians agreed that the lives of women engaged in prostitution are worthless and that the "cleansing" in the name of Allah must continue.  

The main role of a fearless journalist in the thriller "Holy Spider" was played by Iranian native Zar Amir-Ebrahimi, who won the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. Zar Emir-Ebrahimi was a bright TV star at the time when Spider-Man was on the rampage in Iran. However, due to society's conservatism and unchanging attitude towards women, she left her homeland and emigrated to Paris. "The Holy Spider" is also her way of telling her story about the difficult experience of a woman's life in dogmatic Iran. The journalist played by the actress risks her life and starts a fight not only with the murderer, but also with the conservative society, which tends to justify such "spiritual cleansing".

A thriller that immerses you in the world of darkness, tension and religious vicissitudes is an unexpected turn in the filmography of director Ali Abbasi, whose previous film "Riba" was nominated for an Oscar. 

Look for movie screenings in Romuva here.

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