Iranian Director Responds to Russia’s Ban of Holy Spider

Iranian Director Responds to Russia’s Ban of Holy Spider

Days after the release of Holy Spider, a serial killer thriller directed by Ali Abbasi, the Russian government imposed a ban, citing undisclosed reasons. Although the move was unexpected, it is not surprising given the current political climate. Russia and Iran are both facing isolation on the world stage and have formed a military and economic alliance.

The Response

Director Ali Abbasi released a statement in response to the ban, thanking both governments for their efforts in promoting Holy Spider free of charge. Abbasi went on to suggest that the ban may be a response to Iran’s alleged arming of Russian military to kill innocent civilians in Ukraine. The director also expressed his disappointment in Russia’s decision and questioned the legitimacy of the law that prohibits the film’s distribution.

The Film

Holy Spider, which premiered at Cannes in 2022 and is considered a contender for the Palme d’Or, is a true story that explores misogyny and social injustice in Iran. The film follows a serial killer who murdered 16 sex workers in the early 2000s in the shrine city of Mashhad.

Producer Sol Bondy of One Two Films, based in Berlin, expressed his disappointment in the ban and highlighted the numerous obstacles and censorship issues faced during the film’s production. Bondy also criticized the ban and suggested that the reality of the people in Iran today is much worse than what is depicted in the film.

In conclusion, the ban on Holy Spider by the Russian government has highlighted the ongoing censorship and obstacles faced by filmmakers around the world. However, the director and producers of the film remain committed to telling stories that shed light on social injustices and human rights violations.


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