lunedì 20 marzo 2017

The Cow (Gaav) - Dariush Mehrjui

film del 1969, che sembra arrivare da un altro mondo.
in un poverissimo villaggio dimenticato da dio e dal mondo, ma non dai banditi, che sono una presenza inquietante, sembra che l'unica ricchezza e gioia sia una vacca, che aspetta un figlio.
Hassan la tratta meglio di qualsiasi essere umano, la cura più della moglie, quella vacca è la ragione della sua vita.
quando la uccidono impazzisce.
sembra un film girato da Ernesto De Martino, o un suo discepolo.
ma chi ha ucciso l'animale?
un bianco e nero bellissimo, una storia che non ti dimentichi, un piccolo grande capolavoro - Ismaele

QUI il film completo sottotitolato in inglese

…Not only is Dariush Mehrjui’s The Cow a great film, it is one of the most important one’s in Iranian history. It was made during the Iranian Revolution, obviously a time of great political turmoil in Iran. The only reason why it was even distributed was because Ayatollah Khomeini was reported to have liked it, thereby allowing it to be shown in theaters. But even then, it had to be smuggled out of the country in order for it to be shown at the 1971 Venice Film Festival. But from that moment on, the face of Iranian cinema would be forever changed. Many believe that it sparked the Iranian New Wave. But what we do know is that it inspired such legendary directors as Abbas Kiarostami. Mehrjui’s use of realism and symbolism would become defining characteristics of Iranian cinema. And all of these influences can be seen in The Cow. It’s amazing how such a simple story can spark such a great cultural uprising. Like the death of Hassan’s cow, the release of The Cow would create a personal redefinition of its viewer’s sensibilities. Thankfully, instead of driving them insane, it made them realize that Iran had the potential to become one of world cinema’s most powerful voices.

…The distressing factor of the film is not just Hassan’s descent into madness; it lies in how the village community reacts to it. As they repeatedly find themselves in a situation unable to address (or find solution to) Hassan’s mental illness, the community slowly seem to give in to his illusion. As the man is stripped off his identity, the villagers overstep their boundaries to reach for some kind of resolution. At the end, the rebelling man/animal becomes a just a burden to be abolished. This disturbing notion is sharply expressed in the climax when Islam loses his senses to treat stubborn Hassan as an animal (‘get going you beast!, he shouts). The movie’s success also belongs to the stupendous performance of Ezzatolah Entezami in the central character.
The Cow aka Gaav (100 minutes) is a seminal work of Iranian cinema which served as the precursor to the nation’s post-revolutionary cinema of Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Abbas Kiarostami, etc. The film could serve both as a touching cinematic experience and contemplated deeply from a philosophical point of view.

…The film does not require subtitles. It's visual. It's simple. The story is set in a remote Iranian village, where owning a cow for subsistence is a sign of prosperity. The barren landscape (true of a large part of Iran) reminds you of Grigory Kozintsev's film landscapes as in Korol Lir (the Russian King Lear) where the landscape becomes a character of the story.
The sudden unnatural death of the cow unsettles the village. Hassan, the owner of the cow, who nursed it as his own child, is away and would be shocked on his return. Eslam, the smartest among the villagers, devise a plan to bury the cow and not tell the poor man the truth. Hassan returns home and is soon so shocked that he loses his senses. He first imagines that the cow is still there and ultimately his sickness deteriorates as he imagines himself to be the cow, eats hay, and says "Hassan" his master will protect him from marauding Bolouris (bandits from another village). Eslam realizes that Hassan needs medical attention and decides to take him to the nearest hospital. He is dragged out like a cow. "Hassan" is beaten as an animal as he is not cooperative to the shock of some humanistic villagers. The demented Hassan, with the force of an animal breaks free, to seek his only freedom from reality--death.

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