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One of the few Iranian New Wave films to be distributed in the U.S., Dariush Mehrjui's The Cycle deals with pervasive corruption under the Shah's regime. With its harsh, cynical depiction of life among the poverty-stricken, the film was banned for three years, yet met with widespread critical acclaim abroad. The story follows Ali, a young peasant who moves with his invalid father to Tehran. To pay for the ailing man's hospital care, Ali sells his blood on the black market to middle men, who then sell the scarce resource to hospitals. Tired of being exploited, Ali joins the traffickers and rises in the ranks, becoming cold, corrupted, and eventually selling tainted blood back to the sick and destitute. That's the cycle. "A devastating picture of a country in the midst of a revolution it doesn't understand and cannot control" (Vincent Canby, NY Times). "Remarkable and dark...with black and bitter humor, and a striking visual quality" (Faber Companion to Foreign Films). Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize and OCIC Award at the 1978 Berlin Film Festival. In Persian with English subtitles.

Dariush Mehrjui---Iran---1974---101 mins.