GAAV (The Cow)

Iran. 1969. 105 min.  Drama.
Cast :  Ezzatolah Entezami, Mahin Shahabi, Ali Nassirian.

Venue :  Función Lenguaje
29 may Friday.  20.00

The story begins by showcasing the close relationship between a middle-aged Iranian villager Masht Hassan and his beloved cow. Hassan is married but has no children. His only valuable property is a cow that he cherishes because it,s the only cow in the village. When Hassan must leave the village for a short time, the pregnant cow is found dead in the barn. Hassan’s fellow villagers fear his reaction and cover up the evidence of the death and tell him upon his return that his cow has run away. Having great difficulty dealing with the loss of his beloved cow, as well the loss of livestock that affects his social stature at the village, Hassan gradually goes insane following a nervous breakdown and he starts to belive he is the cow, adopting such mannerisms such as eating hay. His wife and the villagers try in vain to restore his sanity.

The Samanid prince Nooh ibn Mansur was reported to have thought that he was a cow. He was subsequently cured of his delusion by the medieval Persian physician Avicenna. It is possible that elements of the plot of The Cow were inspired by this.

Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini was reported to have admired this film. This in turn was reported to have been the saving grace that allowed Iranian cinema to continue rather than it being banned after the Iranian Islamic Revolution.


OCIC Award – Recommendation – Forum of New Film 22nd Berlin International Film Festival 1972
FIPRESCI Prize 32nd Venice International Film Festival 1971
Best Actor Award Chicago International Film Festival 1971
Award for Best Screenplay Sepas Film Festival 1970