First Cow
Film
Asian Diaspora On Screen

First Cow

May 18, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

This tender story of friendship and nascent capitalism on the American frontier comes from one of today's most underappreciated cinematic visionaries, Kelly Reichardt.

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First Cow | Official Trailer HD | A24

 

There is perhaps no genre more thoroughly gendered than the western, and it is here that Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff) has staked her claim as a singular voice in a crowded terrain. No sweeping vistas or grand antagonisms, First Cow is the story of a friendship between a couple of misfit pioneers: one a cook, Cookie (John Magaro), a gentle, soft-spoken man, and the other a Chinese immigrant, King Lu (Orion Lee), a prototypical entrepreneur, ambitious and scheming, but more out of necessity than greed. True to the genre, Reichardt is deep in the weeds of American myth-making. After the arrival of the first dairy cow in the territory, Reichardt, with the painstaking exactness of a procedural, plots the emerging relations of frontier capitalism—part exploitation and theft; part survival and partnership. The scope is miniaturist, but the import is monumental.

With opening remarks by Professor of Film and Media Studies Shevaun Mizrahi

D: Kelly Reichardt, US, 2019, 2h2m

Programmed as part of the Asian Diaspora on Screen series in collaboration with the Dartmouth Asian American Studies Collective (DAASC).
 

“If only every film could achieve the sublime tenderness of First Cow.”

Karen Han, Polygon
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Black Family Visual Arts Center
22 Lebanon Street
Hanover, NH

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