Aided by investigative journalist Roya Karimi, director Maziar Bahari interviews the
39-year-old serial killer Saeed Hanaei, who murdered 16 prostitutes in the
Iranian city of Mashad. Disturbingly self-assured, Hanaei justifies his deeds by
citing the Koran. He does not see his victims as human beings, so he therefore
does not want to be labelled a "killer," rather an "anti-street women activist."
Bahari films Hanaei's imperturbable, sometimes smiling face in extreme close-up.
He also interviews other people involved in the case, thus providing an
extensive view of the situation in Iran that drove Hanaei to commit his crimes.
Hanaei gets moral support from his mother, his brother, his wife and his son,
who calmly uses a pillow to demonstrate to us how his father smothered the
women. Bahari also speaks with the trial judge, who rejects Hanaei's use of
Islam as an excuse, with one of the victim's fathers, with a prostitute whose
identity is concealed and who says she would rather be dead, and with the two
young daughters of one of the victims - if given the chance, they would like to
kill Hanaei themselves. To accentuate the story, we are periodically confronted
with photos of the suffocated victims in death.