June 4, 2023

Persian News

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Russia halts release of film on serial killer of sex workers in Iran

TEHRAN – Russian authorities have cut short the screening of the controversial movie “Holy Spider” just days after its release according to a statement made by the distributor last Tuesday.

The film had its Russian premiere on May 11 but less than a week later the Culture Ministry withdrew the film’s distribution license, Anastasiya Kruglyakova, a representative of Exponenta Film, told AFP in written comments.

The ministry said that the release was canceled “due to the presence in the specified film of materials, containing information whose dissemination is prohibited by the legislation of the Russian Federation.”

Danish-Iranian director Ali Abbasi made the film in 2022 based on a true story about a serial killer of sex workers in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad.

“Holy Spider” was viewed by Iranian authorities as “an anti-Iranian film” following its premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, which gave the France-based Iranian star of the film, Zar Amir Ebrahimi, the best actress award.

In a published statement, the Cinema Organization of Iran also denounced the Cannes Film Festival for awarding the star of “Holy Spider”, calling their decision to acclaim the drama about a serial killer in Iran “an insulting and politically-motivated move.”

The organization said that the film “has insulted the beliefs and values of millions of Muslims and the large community of the Shia in the world,” calling it “a product of the confused mind of a Danish-Iranian person and financed by global arrogance.”

Producer Sol Bondy at Berlin-based One Two Films has said that “Holy Spider” was filmed in Jordan after Turkey prevented them from shooting the film in the country.

Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has previously said that those persons inside Iran who were involved in “Holy Spider” would face punishment for their collaboration in the production.

The serial killer story was also changed into a film titled “Killer Spider” by director Ebrahim Irajzad in Iran in 2021.

Photo: A scene from “Holy Spider”.


Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/484855/Russia-halts-release-of-film-on-serial-killer-of-sex-workers

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