Russia suspends the showing of an Iranian film about a serial killer who pursues sex workers
Yesterday, Tuesday, the Russian authorities prevented cinemas from continuing to show an Iranian film that deals with the story of a serial killer who pursues sex workers, and was among the competing works at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022.
Holy Spider, by Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi, is based on the true story of a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who kills 16 sex workers in the early 2000s in Mashhad, Iran.
After the film was shown in Russia on May 11, the Ministry of Culture withdrew its distribution license less than a week later. The ministry said, “The film was canceled in cinemas because it contains elements that are prohibited by Russian law,” without adding further details.
“Unfortunately, the news is true,” Anastasia Kruglyakova, the representative of the company that distributed the film, said in a statement, a copy of which was received by Agence France-Presse.
In 2022, Zahraa Amir Ibrahimi won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in the movie “Sacred Spider”, in which she plays a journalist investigating the murders of sex workers.
Iran protested to France after the Cannes Film Festival chose this film among the competing works, describing the decision as “bad and political.” As for the director of “Sacred Spider”, he did not obtain permission to film the work in Iran and was forced to carry out the work in Jordan.