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Kimstim Collection: Cyclist


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Product Details

  • Actors: Firouz Kiani, Mohammad Reza Maleki
  • Directors: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kimstim
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00092ZMBQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,528 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

CYCLIST (BICYCLERAN) - DVD Movie

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on April 10, 2010
This remarkable film from the Iranian "new wave" mixes Sydney Pollack's dance marathon film "They Shoot Horses Don't They" (a clip of which is seen on a TV in a cafe) with a good deal of Fellini-esque imagery to produce a distinctly Iranian social critique. Director Mohsen Makhmalbaf retells a story from his youth in which a poor man raises money by riding a bicyle for days without a rest. In this film, made in 1987, the man is a poor, unemployed Afghan refugee with a hospitalized wife. Rescued by his young son from committing suicide by being run over by a truck, he allows himself to be billed as a one-man circus act, riding in a circle for a week while a crowd gathers, wagering on his ability to endure to the end.

At the start, the film cuts between a vigorous game of buzkashi, as horsemen compete over a headless goat, and a gathering of refugee day-laborers attempting to get work digging wells and ditches. A motorcyclist rides endless circles inside a big drum for paying customers who watch from above. There are shots of crowded Tehran streets, hospital visits to the cyclist's desperately ill wife, and the cycle-riding endurance test itself, all of it mixed together with moments of farce, documentary realism, hallucination, and heavy melodrama.

In several dream-like sequences, boys in prison garb throw red and white carnations from a balcony at the cyclist, a crowd of the elderly and dying and another crowd of shrouded lepers are brought to witness the spectacle. A gypsy woman tells fortunes, a referee watches in a track suit, and a doctor and nurse attempt to drug the cyclist, while tacks and nails mysteriously appear on the track.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 5, 2011
In the aftermath of the Soviet invasion and civil war, hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled across the border with Iran. There they struggled to survive, offering themselves as day labourers at exploitive wages, harassed by officials and just ignored by the bulk of Iranian society. Mohsen Makhmalbaf's 1987 film BICYCLERAN ("The Cyclist") is an allegory for the Afghan refugee experience,

Nasim (Moharram Zaynalzadeh) must pay the hospital stay of his ailing wife and bring up his son Jomeh (Mohammad Reza Maleki), but even backbreaking labour as a well-digger doesn't pay the bills. When a local business learns that Nasim once rode a bicycle for three nonstop, he offers the desperate man the chance to save his family: ride a bicycle for a week in a makeshift circus ring.

Makhmalbaf communicates Nasim's lack of humanity by giving him very few lines. Most of the film consists of arguments among the gamblers and local politicians who stand to profit or lose from Nasim's act, as in the background he circles around and around and around. This film would already be heartrending if it were a straight-up tale, but Makhmalbaf makes it even more poignant with a light dusting of magic realism.

Though less elegant than some of his later films like NUN VA GULDOON (released internationally as "A Moment of Innocence"), this is a memorable film and it's easy to see how it established Makhmalbaf's reputation internationally. Iranian cinema holds many delights, and this is one of its triumphs.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on September 10, 2011
This film catapulted the rapid rise of ths talented director respect an issue rarely told. It's about the unthinkable perversity a human being is capable to do taking advantage of the misfortune of others.

A very humble man has emigrated with his family in search of a better fate. His young wife is pregnant and in urgent need of a doctor who treats her.

Lacking resources, for how to become a money and go to a ruthless mercenary who owns a street show of fun and frivolity.

Since in early youth, he was a great cyclist, makes a Faustian deal with that miserable human parasite. He must pedal for a whole week without sleep to do their part of the deal. In case of leave for any reason before the time is fulfilled, the contract is void.

Creepy, brutal and devastating in its proposal. One of the best film productions of the decade of the eighties.
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