Far removed from the picture of Tehran we glimpse in news stories, there is another, hidden city, where survival depends on an intricate network of lies and falsehoods.
It is a place where Mullahs visit prostitutes, cosmetic surgeons restore girls' virginity and homemade porn is bought and sold in the bazaars. It is also the home of our eight protagonists, drawn from across the spectrum of Iranian society: the porn star, the ageing socialite, the assassin and enemy of the state who ends up working for the Republic, the volunteer religious militiaman who undergoes a sex change, the dutiful housewife who files for divorce, and the old-time thug running a gambling den.
These are ordinary people forced to live extraordinary lives. Plotted around the city's pulsing central thoroughfare, Vali Asr Street, City of Lies is an energetic, intimate and unforgettable portrait of modern Tehran and of what it is to live, love and survive under one of world's most brutally repressive regimes.
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Great story, terrible performance
- Alex Haardt