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Gaav (1969)

Not Rated | | Drama | December 1974 (USA)
An old villager deeply in love with his cow goes to the capital for a while. While he's there, the cow dies and now the villagers are afraid of his possible reaction to it when he returns.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Masht Hassan
... Hassans wife
... Islam
... Abbas
Firouz Behjat-Mohamadi
Jafar Vali ... Kadkhoda
Khosrow Shojazadeh ... Boy
Ezzatollah Ramazanifar ... Madman
Esmat Safavi ... Old woman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
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Storyline

Masht Hassan owns the only cow in a remote and desolate village. He treats the cow as his own child. When he is away, his cow dies. Knowing the relationship between Masht Hassan and his cow, the villagers hastily dispose the corpse, and when Masht Hassan comes back, they tell him that his cow ran away. Masht Hassan is devastated, he starts to spend all his time in the barn, eating hay, and slowly believes that he is the cow. Written by Sam Tabibnia <samtab@uclink.berkeley.edu>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

IMVBox.com | sourehcinema

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Release Date:

December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Kuh  »

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Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Critics widely consider it the first film of the Iranian New Wave. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema Iran (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Cow
21 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

The Cow, Gaav (1969) is the second feature film by director Dariush Mehrjui. It was the second film to be financed by the Shah of Iran but promptly banned after completion when the Shah felt its portrayal of simple village life in Iran gave the wrong impression to outsiders. The film was smuggled out of Iran in 1970, and subsequently won "critics choice" at the Venice Film Festival.

The Cow (originating from a novel by Iranian author Gholam-Hossein Saedi) portrays the obsession, loss of faith and demise of a poor rural village that loose their single salable commodity - a cow. Hassan, played by Ezatollah Entezami (who received best actor at the Chicago Film Festival), has a face that vividly captures his physical and emotional change after a breakdown when he becomes the cow. Mehrjui uses theater actors with "compelling faces" as key elements in the cinematography (Feridun Ghovanlu), as did the Italian Neo-realist.

The film explores the looming fear of a foreign invader as the villagers come to believe Hassan, in his cow-like state, will be captured in cross-border raids from rival tribes. Politically this is reminiscent of the Shah's constant allusions to the neighboring "Arab threat" over oil.

While set in traditional, rural Iran, Mehrjui shows an alternative view of Iran where collective fear and poverty can cycle in hopeless desperation. Viewers of The Cow are left to question the very root of human dignity.


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