“It’s about how what you’ve done in the past catches up with you, even if you don’t want it to”: Ali Abbasi on Holy Spider
Set in the Iranian city of Mashad, Holy Spider is based on the true story of a serial killer called Saeed Hanaei who intentionally killed 16 female sex workers between 2000 to 2001 with an unnerving belief he was cleansing the streets from sin. The film details the crimes and also introduces a fictional female journalist who starts off the investigation that leads to his capture and execution.
Brought to screen by writer Ali Abassi and co-writer Afshin Cameron Bahrami, this carefully researched and thought-provoking feature was many years in the making and culminates in a crime-saturated film noir with political undertones.
The Upcoming had the chance to speak with Abbasi about the project itself, the casting process for the movie and what he hopes viewers will take away from watching it.
Holy Spider is released in select UK cinemas on 20th January 2023 and available on MUBI from 10th March 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Holy Spider here: