Shockingly forthright in its view of the social and economic problems of the post-shah era, the Peddler is the film that first brought international acclaim to young writer/director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Makhmalbaf uses a different cameraman and different style for each three of his three short tales set among the poor of contemporary Tehran. The first episode follows a kindly but naÃ”ve couple who want someone to adopt their newborn daughter. The second, an astonishing mix of absurdist comedy and the supernatural, concerns a mentally unstable man who lives with his invalid mother in a ramshackle apartment. The final section draws on the conventions of the American gangster film to show the last hours of a peddler suspected of betraying his friends. Told from the point-of-view of the doomed man's overactive imagination, it is constantly inventive and surprising.