Iran’s leading female filmmaker withdrew from features 10 years ago, but she’s back with a panoramic portrait of Tehran’s lower depths, cunningly shot as a series of shorts to evade censorship red tape. Following multiple characters, nine of them drawn from her earlier films, Tales interweaves melodrama, farce, suspense, and satire to examine the predicaments and struggles of the people who live unnoticed at the bottom of the social order, from a cab driver who’s a former drug dealer and an illiterate factory worker who becomes jealous of his wife when she receives a letter from an ex, to the mother of a student jailed for political reasons and a social worker with a violent drug-addict ex-husband. Iranian independent filmmaking as political as it gets.