Holy Spider, or the Iranian religious assassin

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Quite controversial caused in its world premiere in the latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival the screening of holy spider.

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Ali Abbasi, famous Iranian director, who surprised with Border in 2018 he studied cinema in Sweden and lives in Denmark, and for this reason holy spider was sent by the latter country to the competition for the Oscar for the best international film (it did not participate and does not compete with Argentina, 1985), and not Iran, which is where the plot takes place.

The film is based on true events, which took place between 2000 and 2001. The film’s title refers to a mysterious assassin who hanged 16 prostitutes in the holy city of Masshad, believing him to be a standard bearer of morality and purifying the city from corruption. . .

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And he has become a folk hero of the religious right.

A psychopath, yes.

Saeed Hanaei (played by Mehdi Bajestani) is apparently an exemplary family man. A war veteran who despises himself for not having been a hero or a martyr, he works in construction but, as soon as he has the opportunity and his family is not at home, he goes out at night on his motorbike, “hires” the service of some prostitute on the street, takes her home and kills them. He always uses the same method.

The police don’t have a single suspect, and that’s where Tehran journalist Rahimi (Tsar Amir Ebrahimi, who won the award for best actress in Cannes). He has a theory: that if the killer is still free it is because the police are not interested in the case, and the same goes for the judiciary. They would all be part of a rancid patriarchy.

investigative reporter

The reporter is in contact with a local colleague (Arash Ashtiani), whom Spider calls every time he commits a murder from a pay phone. The reason is understandable: the Holy Spider wants what he does to have the maximum diffusion, and the whole world finds out.

And Rahimi imagines a situation to find the criminal: she poses as a prostitute, hoping that the killer will hire her and her journalist friend will follow them.

It may seem somewhat improbable -in fact, the characters of the journalists are fictitious-, and the film at that moment presents a story between detective and improbable: if the journalist loses the murderer and Rahimi on the street, which is a real possibility Well, the film would have gone the other way.

Where Abbasi succeeds is in building the character of the Holy Spider. Both in his domestic actions and later sitting in the dock, the boy seems so self-confident—and defiant—that he’s terrifying.

This film which will premiere this Thursday in eight theaters in Argentina, will arrive in streaming in March, by MUBI.

“Holy Spider”

Very good

Drama. Denmark, 2022. 116′, SAM 16. Of: Ali Abbasi. With: Mehdi Bajestani, Tsar Amir-Ebrahimi, Arash Ashtiani. Rooms: Cinépolis Recoleta and Hussey, Cinemark Palermo, Atlas Patio Bullrich, Multiplex Belgrano, North Showcase.

Source: Clarin

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