The Bronze horse to Ali Abbasi's »Holy Spider«

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This year's big winner at the Stockholm International Film Festival is the thriller "Holy Spider" by the Iranian-Swedish-Danish director Ali Abbasi, which takes home the Bronze Horse for Best Film, and whose central character Mehdi Bajestani is also praised for his role as the serial killer Saeed in the film, which is based on a real life legal case in Iran.

Iranian-Swedish-Danish Ali Abbasi, with his dense thriller, »Holy Spider« , puts the magnifying glass on a society of serial killers and illuminates uncensored the burning question of the position of women in Iran. The film follows Rahimi, a female journalist, who heads to Iran's holy city of Mashhad to investigate the murders of prostitutes in the city. But the closer she gets to uncovering the killer, the more difficult it becomes to deliver justice as more and more people hail the perpetrator as a hero. The film is based on the real-life "Spider killer", Saeed Hanaei, who believed himself to be on a mission from God when he murdered 16 women around the turn of the millennium.

Photo from »Holy Spider«.

The film was not allowed to be shot in Iran for censorship reasons. The production took place in Jordan instead. The director himself sees a connection between the acts of violence from the turn of the millennium depicted in his film and the current situation.

- It is very easy to see the misogyny that we tried to investigate and which is crystallized in the case that the film is inspired by. For me, this is an epoch-making event, the most important thing that has happened in Iran since the revolution 40 years ago, says Abbasi in our interview before the premiere.

Abbasi, who previously directed the Oscar-nominated »Border«, participated during the festival - together with film directors Tarik Saleh, Rodja Sekersöz and Lisa Farzaneh, in a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in support of Iranian women and filmmakers. The director also visited the cinema Skandia in connection with »Holy Spider« having its Swedish premiere during the Stockholm International Film Festival and took part in an on-stage Face2Face conversation that can be seen below. All festival screenings of the thriller described as "Persian noir" have so far been sold out, but the festival will traditionally screen this year's winning film during an extra screening, Sunday 20/11 at 18:00 on Sture 1 Buy tickets below.


SUN 20/11, 18:00, STURE 1


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