The Cow is a 1969 Iranian film directed by Dariush Mehrjui. Gaav bcame the first Iranian film to draw international acclaim. Gaav is based on a story by Gholam-Hossein Saedi, which was first adapted as a tv play. The story concerns a small, isolated village in the “Iranian” desert that has only a single cow. The owner of the cow, Hassan, has no children and devotes all his attention to his cow. When Hassan leaves the village for a short time, the pregnant cow is found dead in barn. Hassan’s fellow villagers fear his reaction and they plan to cover up by telling Hassan that the cow has run away and they are looking for it. Hassan’s whole world falls apart and does nothing but mourn and says that his cow would never runaway from him.
He can’t deal with losing the animal, so he becomes the cow himself. The film involves a couple of bold twists that open the film up to be understood as symbolic and subversive. It’s more about the relationship , that anyone who invests so much in a singular thing runs the risk of being transformed once what they love is taken away. The film is shot in black and white and Mehrjui is not afraid to use shadows and darkness to great effects. Director skillfully uses space and creates a moody contextual ambience from the numerous shots of watching villagers who are witnessing the drama of Hassan.