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Iran, 2002 (MIFF 2003, International Panorama)

Director: Kianoosh Ayyari

An intnguingly simple premise—a counterfeit 1000 toman banknote travels throughout Iran as it is passed from person to person—that results in a kaleidoscopic journey of culture, geography and values, forms the basis of Iranian Spread, an entertaining and though-provoking modern-day morality tale.

We first 'meet' the money, which is roughly equivalent to eight Australian dollars, as it passes from a street vendor to a young boy, who has done some work for the vendor. From there, we follow the note from north to south, from beggar's hands to those of a wealthy man's and from festivity to misery, as it makes its way to over a dozen different people and situations. From the heartbreaking tale of a young women who triumphs over a group of men in an unusual endurance competition, in order to raise money for an illegal abortion, to the story of an elderly beggar who uses the money as a wedding gift, through to the money's use as a means of celebrating New Year's Eve, Iranian Spread is an engaging and insightful experience.

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