Iran’s Culture Ministry Calls ‘Holy Spider’ Movie an Insult to Religious Beliefs

Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has said the film Holy Spider, which won Best Actress at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, is an insult to Muslim beliefs.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry’s film organization described the film as the product of the “confused mind” of its Denmark-based Iranian-Canadian director, Ali Abbasi, and “funded by global arrogance”, a term used by the Islamic Republic to refer to the United States.

“He insulted the beliefs of millions of Muslims and the world’s huge Shia population,” the statement said.

The ministry said the film follows the path of “The Satanic Verses”, a novel by British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie that angered many Muslims who accused the author of blasphemy and mocking their faith. Outrage among Muslims prompted Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran, to call for Rushdie’s death in February 1989. The result was several failed assassination attempts on Rushdie, who was placed under police protection by the British government.

Inspired by real facts, holy spider is a Persian-language crime thriller that tells the story of a journalist on the hunt for a serial killer, Saeed Hanaei, who strangled 16 sex workers in the religious city of Mashhad between 2000 and 2001, believing he was cleaning up the streets of sinners.

In his acceptance speech On Sunday, Zar Amir-Ebrahimi said who won best actress: “Although I’m very happy right now, part of me is sad for the people of Iran who are dealing with many problems on a daily basis. I’m here, but my heart is with the women and men of Iran My heart is with Abadan.

Ruth R. Culp