A series of unsolved murders of prostitutes keeps the holy city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran on tenterhooks: they him the „Spider Killer“, who believes himself to be doing God’s work by clearing the streets of filth. The journalist Rahimi is sent to investigate the case. While the authorities watch idly as the murderer lures one victim after another into his web, she gets closer and closer to the perpetrator. She is horrified to discover that he is celebrated as a hero by many people in the city and that his conviction seems more than uncertain.
Abbasi constructs his narrative in three main strands, one following Saeed, the killer himself, on his murderous crusade as well as a family man; another observing some of his victims before their murders, and a third following Rahimi as she tries to investigate the killings.
Many scenes of the film have a strong connection to current events in Iran. Many encounters could take place in the same way today. This fact, along with the terrific acting and Abbasi’s skill as a filmmaker, captivates the viewer, making this film a must watch. Especially now.