Monday, May 12, 2014

Vacas (Cows)

Many, many berets (boinas*/txapelas*) in Vacas
Vacas (Cows) is a 1992 Spanish film, written and directed by Julio Médem. An eerie family saga set in the rural Basque Country, the cryptic film follows the intertwined story of three generations of two families from 1875 to 1936. It was Médem's first film and for it he won the 1993 Goya Award as Best New Director.
The years 1875-1936 were the unstable and bloody years from the Third Carlist War to the Spanish Civil War. To help the non-Spanish viewer understand the history depicted in the film: the Basques allied themselves initially with the Carlists (who were right-wing) but later with the Spanish Republic (who were left-wing) because, in each case, they were promised local autonomy.
The structure of Vacas is made up of concentric circles: European Style—Spanish History—Basque culture—A village—Two houses of that village and, overseeing them all, the cows. The narrative is also very concentric; the film uses a continuous recycling recourse (i.e. the same actors play the three generations, which can be slightly confusing). Médem would also use a loop-like approach in his film Los amantes del círculo polar.
Small segments of Vacas were used by Medem in his documentary film La pelota vasca to illustrate the Carlist Wars.

No comments:

Post a Comment