The first film of 1968 is “Gaav” or “The Cow”, an Iranian movie.
It takes place in an Iranian village where only a single farmer has a cow. This cow is doted on by the owner, Hassan, who talks to it, baths it and plays with it as if it had been his own baby. Hassan is also much admired in the village because he has a cow.
One night while Hassan has been away from the village the cow dies. The villagers know this will break Hassan’s heart so they decide to hide it from him, but he still takes it very badly and goes crazy, believing he is himself the cow. There is no stirring him from this delusion and so in the end they take him to the city.
That is about it.
Well, there are some subplots. Hassan’s son is a young guy that has been living in the city and has difficulty adapting, but he is finding a nice girl to get married to. Also, there are some mysterious Bolouri who want to steal things, but their role is very much unexplained, so I cannot even guess what they are. I suspect they represent some obscure outside agent causing the misery in the village, like a bad spirit.
I do feel sorry for Hassan, but that is also all I really get from this movie.
The village looks poor and the inhabitants rather bored. Not the most exciting place in the world. Except for a few women cooking I do not think I saw a single person actually working. Mostly they are asking what is going on and asking the village chief, Eslam, what to do.
It won a number of awards and was a favorite of Ayatollah Khomeini. Not really certain why.
I find it difficult to say very much about this movie. I like cows, but I guess not that much.