The Cycle | Chicago Reader

The Cycle

This 1974 Iranian film by Dariush Mehrjui was banned by the shah?s regime: the tale of a rural teenager and his elderly father trying to eke out a living in the city, it draws a sharp contrast between the haves and have-nots and exposes the corrupt practice of hospitals trafficking in contaminated blood. Mehrjui effectively portrays the illicit blood trade as a by-product of Iran?s social ills and moral vacuum, which are transforming the young and disenfranchised into ruthless opportunists. The film is obviously modeled after Kurosawa and De Sica's postwar neorealism, but Mehrjui?s cynicism and polemical stance—not to mention a plot filled with holes—keep it from achieving the profound humanism of its predecessors.

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