Set in the Basque region, a story of the rivalry of two families, period 1870-1935


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Manuel, Ignacio and Peru Irigibel
Ilegorri / Lucas
Klara Badiola ...
Madalen (as Clara Badiola)
Txema Blasco ...
Kandido Uranga ...
Carmelo / Juan
Paulina (as Pilar Barden)
Miguel Ángel García ...
Ane Sánchez ...
Cristina as a child
Magdalena Mikolajczak ...
Daughter as a child
Enara Azkue ...
Daughter as a child
Ortzi Balda ...
Ilegorri / Lucas as a child
Elisabeth Ruiz ...
Hermana mayor
Ramón Barea ...


A film set in the Basque region, beginning in the Carlist war of 1875 and ending during the Spanish Civil war of 1936. The film portrays how one single act of cowardice shapes the life of the next three generations of two families and fuels the intense rivalry which will span the next sixty-one years. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Mystery | Romance | War


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Release Date:

26 February 1992 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Cows  »

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Did You Know?


Manuel: This is important. This is very important. This is very, very important.
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Featured in The Basque Ball: Skin Against Stone (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Probably the best debut feature since BADLANDS.
3 February 2000 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

What is most remarkable about VACAS in hindsight is how quickly Medem settled into his unique, thrilling style - elliptical narrative which foregrounds inter-generational families, subjectivity, ambiguity, fate, magic, repetition, doubling; transcendent philosophical concerns grounded in brutal violence, earthy humour, identifiable characters and animal imagery; an astonishing use of colour as both emotional and ironic signifier; a busy, almost cheerful camera style which switches with ease from the panorama to the extreme detail, making great mental demands, but offering even greater rewards.

VACAS invokes many genres, in particular the historical epic, and subverts them with dark glee, offering a dizzying, disturbing, unpalatable, ornate, sickening, epiphanic classic that might lose its way halfway through, but paves the way for an even greater masterpiece like TIERRA.

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