Russian authorities have banned cinemas from continuing showing an Iranian film about a serial killer who pursues prostitutes, which was among the competing works at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022.
Holy Spider, directed by Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi, is based on the true story of a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who killed 16 prostitutes in the early 2000s in Mashhad, Iran.
And after the film began showing in Russia on May 11, the Ministry of Culture withdrew its distribution license, yesterday, Tuesday, that is, a week before it was shown in cinemas.
The ministry said, “The film was canceled in cinemas because it contained 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.
In 2022, Zahra Amir Ibrahimi won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in the movie “Sacred Spider”, in which she played the role of a journalist investigating the murders of prostitutes in Mashhad.
Tehran had protested to the French government after the Cannes Film Festival had chosen the film among the competing works, describing that choice as “bad and political.”
It should be noted that the director of “Sacred Spider” did not obtain permission to film the work inside Iran, which made him choose Jordan as an alternative location for filming.