And Along Came a Spider
- Bahari, Maziar, director.
- Iran : Off Center Media Productions ; HBO, 2002.
- Physical Description
- VHS (118 min.)
- This is a grimly fascinating documentary about Iranian serial killer Saeed Hanaei, who murdered 16 women whom he believed to be prostitutes. Filmmaker Maziar Bahari gives Hanaei a lot of screen time to describe and explain what he did, and it's hard to imagine a human being appearing more monstrous than Hanaei does here, as he proudly defends his abominable actions as holy. One feels tremendous empathy for the young daughters of one victim, now orphans, as they describe how they'd like to see Hanaei punished for his crimes. Bahari is fairly direct and economical in his approach. While the film gives more time to Hanaei and his supporters (including his wife and teenage son) than it does to more reasoned voices like the victims' relatives and the judge who heard Hanaei's case, there's a strong feminist bent to the film, underscored by Bahari's choice of a female narrator, and his interviews with an outspoken woman reporter, whom he also uses to interview the killer. Then, of course, there are the interviews with the two young daughters of one victim, who express themselves with surprising eloquence. The film's underlying critique of the harsh patriarchy of Iran reaches its apex in these segments, as the children's obvious love for their murdered mother reemphasizes all of the victims' humanity. Through these interviews, the film achieves a transcendentally poignant power.
- Documentary films
- Duration: 01:58:00
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