7.2/10
3,267
17 user 6 critic

Cows (1992)

Vacas (original title)
Set in the Basque region, a story of the rivalry of two families, period 1870-1935

Director:

Julio Medem
Reviews
8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

10 December 1993 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Cows See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Manuel: This is important. This is very important. This is very, very important.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Basque Ball: Skin Against Stone (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Medem's brilliant debut
20 December 1999 | by jmabelSee all my reviews

With this brilliant debut film, Julio Medem placed himself almost instantly into the ranks of Spain's leading directors, along with Carlos Saura and Pedro Almodovar.

From the suspenseful footage of barefoot woodchoppers to the sprawling family rivalries to the chaos of war, Medem brings a unique vision and a sharp edge to this Basque historical saga. His later films are equally masterful, but this is the one time he chooses to grapple with the history of his Basque homeland instead of telling a contemporary and character-centered story.

The plot can be a bit tricky to follow for those unfamiliar with Spanish history, and the lush beauty of the film definitely calls more for a big screen than for video. I can't make your screen bigger, but as for the history, I may be able to help with what most confuses the typical American viewer:

The Carlists were supporters of a series of 19th century pretenders to the Spanish throne and constituted an alliance of Basque nationalists with right-wing Spaniards, allied on the basis of Catholic faith. The Carlists advocated absolute monarchy (against the ruling liberal constitutional monarchy), but were willing to grant the Basque region considerable autonomy. Later, in the Spanish Civil War, the Basque nationalists allied to the left, siding with the secular Republic (which also offered them autonomy) against Franco's centralizing fascist forces. Thus to be a Basque nationalist family over the span of this history led to some paradoxical alliances over time.


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