Iranian Spread | Chicago Reader

Iranian Spread

Director-writer Kianoosh Ayyari tracks a counterfeit bill as it passes from one person to the next, using its journey to create a neorealistic panorama of a changing Iran. Traveling from a market to the countryside to a westernized oil town to poor villages, the bill pulls together a cast of characters that amount to a cross section of the country and tests both their honesty and humanity. Some pass off the bill as a petty revenge, and though most tender it innocently or with a pang of guilt (a young mother who breaks a gender taboo in a men's contest, a university student ashamed of her beggar father), no one simply throws it away. Ayyari has a keen sense of local color (vivified by Pirooz Arjmand's folksy music), and his character studies are astute and often ironic; his portrait of a little-known Iran seems totally authentic. In Farsi with subtitles. 110 min.

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