A female journalist in Iran goes on the hunt for a serial killer in the first trailer for Ali Abbasi’s Cannes competition entry Holy Spider. 

Based on a true story, the film focuses on Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahimi), a reporter from Tehran who travels to the Iranian holy city of Mashhad, descending into its dark underbelly to investigate a killer who believes he is doing the work of God, cleansing the streets of sinners by murdering sex workers. As the body count mounts and Rahimi draws closer to exposing his crimes, the opportunity for justice grows harder to attain as the so-called “Spider Killer” is actually embraced by many as a hero.

Holy Spider is based on the true story of notorious Iranian serial killer Saeed Hanaei, who killed 16 women between 2000 and 2001. The film also stars Mehdi Bajestani and is described as a gripping crime thriller and a daring indictment of a society in which rough justice is routinely a fact of life.

Iranian-Danish writer/director Abbasi co-wrote the script with Afshin Kamran Bahrami. Wild Bunch is handling sales of the film. Holy Spider has it world premiere in Cannes on May 22.

It marks Abbasi’s return to Cannes after he won the Un Certain Regard competition in 2018 with Border.

See the Holy Spider trailer below.

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