With the New Zealand International Film Festival kicking off tonight, what better time to start watching – in chronological order – Spanish director, Julio Medem’s body of work as featured in the five disc Julio Medem Collection, released by Vendetta Films.
First up is Vacas – which literally means cows – though not necessarily a film about cows, they do play a prominent role in this strangely disturbing tale of two semi-feuding families set between the years 1875-1936, a time when Spain was deep in one civil war or another.
No doubt stepped in historic and symbolic value, Vacas is a hard film to follow, with a fair dose of insanity, wood chopping and forbidden love set in the rural Basque region.
As difficult to follow as it is, one thing is easy to see – there is a certain type if genius driving the film that compels the confused viewer to continue watching, terrified of what he might see, but even more afraid of missing what climax lay ahead at the climax of this intriguing rural drama.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read