Dariush Mehrjui’s groundbreaking 1969 film The Cow, adapted from a short story by leftist writer Gholam-Hossein Saedi, paved the way not only for an Iranian New Wave cinema during the Pahlavi era but also for the post-revolutionary cinema of the Islamic Republic. The film depicts a poor villager, Mash Hassan, who owns his village’s only cow—his sole source of joy and livelihood. Influenced by Italian neorealism, Mehrjui portrays ordinary peoples’ lives and their relationship with nature—which he treats with empathy and respect during a time when the Pahlavi regime was promoting a modern, Westernized image of Iran. 79 min. In Persian with English subtitles. Introduced by Mehdi Faraji, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU.
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