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BALLAD OF A WHITE COW

International 1h 45m 2021

BEHTASH SANAEEHA, MARYAM MOGHADDAM | IRAN, FRANCE | PERSIAN | 2021 | 105 MIN

This searing Iranian drama follows a widowed mother whose husband was wrongfully executed and the stranger who enters her life bearing an unexpected connection to her past.

A standout from this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Ballad of a White Cow delves into the cruelties and hypocrisies of Iran’s judicial system through the lives of characters affected by capital punishment. After her husband was executed for committing murder, widowed mom Mina (Maryam Moghaddam) has her world shaken when she’s informed that new evidence has cleared her husband of the crime. Indignant, she demands an official apology from the judges, but encounters an unyielding bureaucratic system with little sympathy for her situation. Meanwhile, a mysterious figure from her husband’s past, Reza (Alireza Sanifar), resurfaces, offering much-needed financial support. But Reza’s motives are murkier than they initially seem. As Reza begins to insinuate himself more and more into Mina’s life, the unspoken secrets between them grow more insistent, and more dangerous. Co-directing and co-writing the film with Behtash Sanaeeha, Moghaddam delivers a raw, captivating lead performance embodying both Mina’s quiet strength and barely-suppressed rage. Capturing the charged interplay between its characters in achingly still compositions, the film is an electrifying slow burn, culminating in an unforgettable exploration of guilt and redemption.

Cast: Maryam Moghaddam, Alireza Sanifar, Pourya Rahimisam, Avin Purraoufi

Part of the Visions of Iran Category