The Cow

Film - Feature | November 11 | 7-8:40 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“The first Iranian film to deal with the small-scale, the unredeemed, and the unheroic” (Hamidreza Sadr). An extraordinary film marking the beginning of the Iranian New Wave, The Cow is a portrait of village life where isolation and the most extreme poverty create their own abiding social structure. The story moves from tragedy to absurdity without a wink of the eye: this is the thoroughly believable tale of a man, Hassan, who deeply loves his cow. When the animal, who is the sole source of life for the small village, is killed by marauders, Hassan’s neighbors try but fail to protect him from the grief they see coming. Mad with sorrow, Hassan in his mind becomes the cow he loved, and the effect on the village is telling. There is, in the end, a fine line between man and beast. Evoking both Sufi mysticism and Italian neorealism, Mehrjui has filmed with an eye for everyone’s compulsions, making Hassan’s only the most tragic among them.

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