Based on a true story, HOLY SPIDER follows devout family man-turned-serial killer Saeed (Mehdi Bajestani), who has undertaken a quest to "cleanse" the holy Iranian city of Mashhad of sinners. Nicknamed "The Spider," Saeed spends his evenings cruising on his motorcycle looking for sex workers to murder, then dumping their bodies and alerting the media to their whereabouts. As the cops fumble the investigation, determined journalist Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahimi, who won the Best Actress Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival) devotes herself to discovering the identity of the murderer and stopping the violence, even if doing so puts her own life at risk. Danish-based Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi's (Un Certain Regard Award winner BORDER) captivating cat-and-mouse thriller raises thought-provoking questions about justice and the rule of law in contemporary Iran. Official Selection, 2022 Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and London film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Ali Abbasi; SCR Afshin Kamran Bahrami; PROD Sol Bondy, Jacob Jarek. Denmark/Germany/Sweden/France, 2022, color, 117 min. In Persian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
No AFI Member passes accepted.