Archive of films Iranian Spread / Sofreh Irani

2002, 100 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2002

A false thousand-toman note appears out of nowhere. A thousand tomans is a lot of money for some Iranians, and everyone who finds himself in possession of it tries to dispose of it as quickly as possible, so that he doesn’t lose out himself. Poor and rich think alike…


A counterfeit thousand-toman note turns up in a bazaar as if from nowhere. A thousand tomans is a considerable sum for an Iranian and when a bank note like that gets into circulation, no-one wants to get caught out with it. And so it travels from hand to hand, from one duped trader to another. First, a stall-holder manages to get rid of it, then pomegranate pickers selling fruit by the road get change for it, then a taxi-driver gets hold of it, and from him a random beggar. The latter gives it to his niece as a wedding gift, and then it continues via various owners until it reaches a backstreet abortionist. Again and again the poor and the better off try to get rid of the forged note by exchanging it for real money. Life is difficult both in the village and in town, women have to pay for their unequal position and everyone finds it easier to con their loved ones rather than being duped and robbed themselves. But it would be fairly easy to find a way out of this vicious circle – just by tearing the forged note in two and throwing it away…

About the director

Kianoosh Ayyari (b. 1951 Ahwaz, north-eastern Iran) was captivated by film from an early age. He first filmed on 8mm and, during the 1970s, was one of the most distinctive figures of the country’s Free Cinema movement. As an amateur director he made a whole series of films awarded at domestic and international festivals (e.g. The Reflection, The Trap, The Island, Dust-Shower etc.). He later turned professional and soon became one of the most important Iranian filmmakers. His feature-length films are also highly successful, both at home and abroad. Select filmography: The Monster (1986), The Specter of the Scorpion (1987), Beyond the Fire (1988), Grand Day in a Small Town (1989), Two Halves of an Apple (1992), The Abadanis (1993 – Silver Leopard at the Locarno IFF, Best Film at the Aubervilliers IFF), The Bull’s Horn (1996), To Be or Not To Be (1998, Best Screenplay at the Cairo IFF and Best Film at the Teheran IFF).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Kianoosh Ayyari
Screenplay: Kianoosh Ayyari
Dir. of Photography: Dariush Ayyari
Music: Pirooz Arjmand
Editor: Kianoosh Ayyari
Producer: Kianoosh Ayyari
Production: Aban-Daad Film, Vara Honar Film Company
Cast: Noor-Ali Lotfi, Mehrdad Falahatger, Mansoureh Ali-Akbari, Masoumeh Shir-Rafat, Ayoub Roshan-Zamir

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