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Vacas (Cows) is a 1991 Spanish film, the first full-length feature by director Julio Medem. The film stars Carmelo Gomez , Emma Suarez , Anna Torent , Txema Blasco and Karra Elejade . It won the 1993 Goya Award for Best New Director.

Usually categorized as rural drama , the film narrates the lives of two Basque families covering the years 1875-1936, which historically were the unstable and bloody years from the Carlist War to the Spanish Civil War.

The aesthetics of the movie established strongly Medem's so-called "dreamy style" (which ironically can be very nightmarish). His expressionist values would contrast rapidly with a time period in the Spanish cinema when the influences from the American movies would multiply (i.e. Alejandro Amenábar). The structure of Vacas is made out 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). Medem 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.

Technical data

  • Writing credits: Julio Medem and Michael Gaztambide
  • Music: Alberto Iglesias
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Release date: 1991 (Spain)

Last updated: 04-29-2005 16:41:21