The Cycle, Dariush Mehrjui's modern-day classic about the impact of social and political corruption, helped launch the Iranian New Wave one of the most important film movements of the late 20th century. Produced under the Shah of Iran's regime, the Cycle was banned for several years for it's harsh, cynical depiction of life among the poverty-stricken areas of Iran. In effect, it is a representation of the corruption suffered under the Shah. Ali struggles to care for his invalid father after moving him to a Tehran hospital. With few opportunities to make money, he sells his blood on the black market of dealers who buy and sell the much-needed substance inside the hospitals. Tired of being exploited, Ali decides to join the illegal trafficking of products, rising to the top of the black market. Along the way, he becomes cold and corrupted as he sells everything from left-over food to tainted blood. The title comes from a line by 14th-century poet Hafiz: Because of the cycle of the universe, my heart is bleeding.