Tehroun is an incendiary portrait of urban poverty in Iran. The film follows a man who rents out a baby to increase his income as a street beggar, only to have the infant stolen.

 

“In Iran, most people see these problems every day, so I’m not opening anybody’s eyes,” says director Nader T. Homayoun. “But it’s a big deal to get authorization to shoot a movie in Iran, especially with this subject matter. I knew it wouldn’t happen through normal means.”

 

To make Tehroun — in theatres Friday — Homayoun was forced to lie his way into production.

 

“I told the government that we were shooting a documentary, and since there is no script for a documentary, they couldn’t really tell what we were going to do and gave us a 15-day pass. It was done so quickly and with such a small team that the actors didn’t know exactly what they were doing for most of it,” he said.