(aka "The Cyclist" or "Bicycleran")


directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Iran 1987


In need of money to pay his wife's medical expenses, Afghan refugee Nassim succumbs to the pleas of a slick con artist with a fantastic plan to stage a bicycle marathon with only one contestant: Nassim himself. Billing himself as the Afghani Superman, the swindler wagers that Nassim can ride his bicycle, day and night, for an entire week. The normally mild-mannered townsfolk soon turn vicious on the sidelines as they place wagers on Nassim's fate, trying to turn his suffering into their profit. One of Iran's greatest filmmakers, director Mohsen Makhmalbaf displays a fantastic visual flair while confronting a variety of serious social issues. Here he tackles the issues of poverty and the ways that people exploit one another in an arresting and visually sophisticated work.

Theatrical Release: Iran, 1987

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DVD Review: Image - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Donald Brown for the Review!

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Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:18:45

1.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.30:1

Edition Details:
• Director's statement

DVD Release Date: Nov. 23, 2004

Chapters 9





Comments This is a shoddy DVD, but better elements may not have been available. It's rather blurry and hazy, and there's a nasty overlap of images between cuts (see last screen capture). The opening of the film is also marked by enormous dirt and debris. The sound is poor, with the musical score heavily distorted and the dialogue rough. English subtitles are optional and very clear.

In light of the lack of alternatives for this pivotal film of the Iranian New Wave, the defects aren't enough to make the disc worth avoiding.

 - Donald Brown



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Example of after-image following a cut


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Region 1 - NTSC


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