Vacas

Vacas

Director: Julio Medem, Emma Suarez, Carmelo Gómez, Ana Torrent

Cast: Julio Medem, Emma Suarez, Carmelo Gómez, Ana Torrent

     
 

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In Basque country, feuds, governments, and wars come and go, while cows placidly observe the strange behaviors of the humans who care for them. In 1875, during a massacre inspired by an out-of-control family feud, a farmer and his friend find themselves in a ditch together. One of them dies, and the other survives by playing possum using his friend's blood as a

Overview

In Basque country, feuds, governments, and wars come and go, while cows placidly observe the strange behaviors of the humans who care for them. In 1875, during a massacre inspired by an out-of-control family feud, a farmer and his friend find themselves in a ditch together. One of them dies, and the other survives by playing possum using his friend's blood as a disguise. As the film flashes forward in time, the man is now a grandfather who amuses himself by painting the tranquil gaze of cows over and over again, while he observes that his son is having an affair with his dead friend's granddaughter. Finally, during the Civil War in 1936, violence again mars the life of the family, as the illegitimate son of the earlier affair attempts to make headway with his life.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Starting with a marvelously oblique title, Basque director Julio Medem (Lovers of the Arctic Circle) weaves an odd family saga in his 1992 feature film debut, Vacas (Cows). The film is not specifically about things bovine, but rather an elliptical tale of two rural Basque clans whose fates intertwine over six decades, from the Carlist Wars of the 1870s to the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. Central to the story are the Iriguibels, whose patriarch's cowardice in the film's prologue sets the stage for generations of interfamilial animosity and covert assignations. (Father, son, and grandson Iriguibel are all played with skill by Carmelo Gómez.) Medem dips a toe into magic realism without really taking the plunge, but it's enough to give the film a dreamlike quality that is accentuated by some inventive camerawork and cinematography by Carles Gusi. And then there are the cows -- mute witnesses whose placidity in the face of the surrounding passion and strife emerges as the film's underlying theme. At times, Medem even provides a cow's-eye view of events. Although he frames the story with two wars, Medem eschews political subjectivity in favor of a subtle mysticism that resists any easy interpretation. The result is a striking directorial debut, hypnotically charming and with a thematic stillness that runs surprisingly deep.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/29/2011
UPC:
0681116101722
Original Release:
1992
Rating:
NR
Source:
Tanelorn
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
66,330

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Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Vacas
1. The Cowardly [2:51]
2. The Axes [10:59]
3. Catalina [16:47]
4. The Major [9:12]
5. The Night [4:28]
6. Photography [5:53]
7. Pupille [4:46]
8. Letters [10:50]
9. Started [3:21]
10. National Guard [8:55]
11. An American Photographer [6:21]
12. Critina in Peru [4:48]

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