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First Cow

A skilled cook and a Chinese immigrant collaborate on a successful business in the 19th century United States.


Why watch this film?

On the surface, 'First Cow' is a simple movie. We follow the story of an American (Cookie, played by John Magaro) who meets a Chinese man (King-Liu, by Orion Lee) during an expedition in the heart of the United States in the 19th century. However, soon director Kelly Reichardt ('Wendy and Lucy') puts a cow in that equation. That's right. Just like the animal that falls from the sky in 'A Chinese Tale', it becomes a catalyst for something bigger, in 'First Cow' the same happens. Only this time, the cow ends up being the source of money for Cookie and King-Liu, who steal milk from this first cow in the region - which belongs to a rich businessman (Toby Jones). From there, we follow two interesting effects. First, how the friendship between this American and this Chinese (perhaps representing the strength of a commercial partnership between these two powers) is strong, resilient, complementary. One knows how to cook, the other has the experience of gastronomy and commerce. On the other hand, with these persistent thefts of the rich businessman's milk, we see Reichardt put the pillar of capitalism in check. After all, what happens when a good, usually owned by one person or company, is exploited by various workers, with ideas and creativity to the maximum? That's what we see brilliantly portrayed on the screen, in a slow and contemplative, but powerful plot.



Our suggestions

A skilled cook has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a successful business.

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