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Holy Spider
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A person takes a call from a public telephone in a quiet street of Mashhad. They have a look of slight surprise on their face.
Holy Spider, dir. Ali Abbasi, Denmark / Iran 2022, 117 min., Farsi with English subtitles, 18

Set in the holy city of Mashhad, Ali Abbasi’s haunting latest feature follows journalist Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) as she investigates a serial killer targeting sex workers. Labelled the ‘Spider Killer’, the man responsible for these murders is Saeed Hanaei (Mehdi Bajestani), who believes he is on a divine mission to cleanse the city of sinners. As Rahimi desperately tries to bring Saeed to justice, support for his actions begins to grow throughout Mashhad as many hail him as a hero on a religious quest.

Led by a compelling performance from Ebrahimi, who won the Best Actress Award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, this is a blistering critique of contemporary Iranian society from the director of the award-winning Border.
 
02:00 pm
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