First Cow

Primera vaca

USA | 2019 | DCP | Color  | 122 min | Kelly Reichardt 


Director: Kelly Reichardt
Screenplay: Kelly Reichardt & Jon Raymond
Producer: Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, & Anish Savjani
Cinematography: Christopher Blauvelt
Editing: Kelly Reichardt

Music: William Tyler
Production Company: A24 films
Cast: John Magaro, Orion Lee, Toby Jones, & Ewen Bremner 


Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow. From this simple premise Reichardt constructs an interrogation of foundational Americana that recalls her earlier triumph Old Joy in its sensitive depiction of male friendship, yet is driven by a mounting suspense all its own. Reichardt again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America.


Kelly Reichardt was born and raised in Miami-Dade Country, Florida, to a family of police officers. She had an interest in photography from a very young age. She started by using her father’s camera, which he used for photographing crime scenes. She went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. In the summer of 2005, Reichardt directed Old Joy (2006), which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It was the first American film to win the Tiger award at the Rotterdam Film Festival and opened at the Film Forum in New York City. Reichardt’s first feature, River of Grass (1994), a sun-drenched noir that was shot in her home town of Dade County, was cited as one of the best films of 1995 by the Boston Globe, Village Voice, Film Comment, the New York Daily News, Paper Magazine, and the San Francisco Guardian.



Berlin International Film Festival, 2020, Germany

Telluride Film Festival 2019, USA

The New York Film Festival 2019, USA

Bergen International Film Festival, 2020, Norway



Jaime Panoff