By Samaneh Aboutalebi

“Qasida of the White Cow”, mediocre movie with big questions

February 3, 2020 - 19:2

TEHRAN – Numerous films of Iran’s post-revolution cinema have considered social issues such as women’s rights, addiction, poverty, the younger generation’s problems and lex talionis.

Productions on lex talionis — the law of “an eye for an eye” applicable in Iran — have always provoked controversy.  

“Beautiful City” by Asghar Farhadi, “Corridor” by Behruz Shoeibi, “Lanturi” by Reza Dormishian, “A House on 41st Street” by Hamidreza Qorbani, “Life Hanging” co-directed by Hossein Amiri Dumari and Pedram Puramiri and “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness” by Masud Bakhshi are some of the movies on the subject.

“Qasida of the White Cow” by Behtash Sanaeiha is the latest case, which is competing in the 38th Fajr Film Festival currently underway in Tehran. 

The film is about Mina, a young woman who lives along with her deaf child while her husband has been executed for a murder charge a year ago. She tries to get her life together, take good care of her child and make both ends meet. However, her life gets more sorrowful when she finds out that her husband was innocent.

While most of the films on the subject promote forgiveness rather than revenge, this film brings up a very frightening question: Since the sentence is irreversible — after all, no one can return from death — what if the person executed was actually innocent?  

The question can trouble any judge or victim’s family, who must decide whether the condemned person lives or dies. How would they live with this burden on their consciences if they condemn an innocent person to death? 

However, just having some interesting ideas and a challenging subject doesn’t mean that you can automatically end up with a good film. To transfer a thought-provoking idea into an entertaining yet engaging movie you need more than that. 

Frankly, the film is rather boring and doesn’t involve the audience in the characters’ concerns. 

In short, “Qasida of the White Cow” is a mediocre film that doesn’t seem to have won any acclaim at the Fajr festival. 

Photo: A scene from “Qasida of the White Cow” by Behtash Sanaeiha.


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