“The Cow”, Dariush Mehrjui

openDemocracy Opendemocracy
12 June 2005

the cow

Still from “The Cow”, 1969, dir. Dariush Mehrjui Image courtesy of Iranian.com

“The Cow” follows the story of a farmer who owns the only cow in his village. The cow dies, and unable to cope with its loss, the farmer’s grief turns into madness and he gradually takes on the identity of the cow.

Although it had been funded by the Shah’s government, “The Cow” was banned by the Ministry of Culture because of its raw portrayal of impoverished conditions in rural Iran and only released in 1970, a year after its completion, with an added statement that dated the story many years back. In 1971 it was smuggled to the Venice Film Festival and, unprogrammed and unsubtitled, it turned out to be the event of that year’s festival. It is now considered to be one of Iran’s most important films.

See also:

openDemocracy’s debate on Iran – “Democracy and Iran”

‘The Lizard’: Iran in the cinema’s gaze, Rouzbeh Pirouz

10 x Ten: Kiarostami’s journey, Ed Hayes

Dariush Mehrjui

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