Tehran has threatened to punish Iranians who worked on the film Holy Spider, a movie inspired by the true story of an Iranian construction worker who killed 16 sex workers as part of an “Islamic cleansing of society.”

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Ismaili said on June 2 that the film, directed by Danish-Iranian Ali Abbasi, was produced abroad and did not have any permission from the government.

“If people inside the country have collaborated with this film, they will be punished,” he warned.

The critically acclaimed film saw Iranian actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, who lives in exile following a smear campaign about her love life, win the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 28 for her role as a journalist trying to solve the murders in the holy city of Mashhad in the early 2000s.

The movie was shot in Jordan after Abbasi was denied permission to film in Iran and many of the Iranians who worked on it live abroad.

Ismaili did not give a legal basis for the decision to punish those involved, but it comes after the Ministry of Guidance’s cinema organization issued a statement claiming that the film “insulted” the “beliefs and values” of Muslims.

On June 1, Tehran said it formally protested to France over the selection of the film at Cannes. The French government has no connection with the festival.

Source » rferl