First Cow - IFFAM - 5th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

First Cow
USA | 2019 | 122’ | Colour | English, Chinook Wawa | Chinese and English subtitles | Group: B
Director: Kelly Reichardt

2020/12/06 11:00

* Only available to Hong Kong and Macao area
* 48 hours time window, 12 hours playback window


Programmer’s Note

Kelly Reichardt returns to Oregon, the state where her little masterpieces Old Joy and Wendy And Lucy were set some years ago, and she also returns to those films’ narrative territory with the intimate, delicate and evocative First Cow. It is the story of a friendship between a skilled cook and a Chinese immigrant seeking his fortune in times when the American dream was still a dream, when everything – or almost everything – was yet to be realized in the Old West. The beautiful images at the film’s beginning, an immense ship navigating the Columbia River, followed by the discovery of bones buried in Sauvie Island, connect the past with the present and symbolize the unbreakable friendship between the two protagonists. The Half Life, the great 2004 book by Oregon native writer Jon Raymond on which First Cow is based, reaches a new dimension through Reichardt’s unique and highly cinematographic vision.



It is the 1820s in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. A taciturn loner and skilled cook has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Both on the run from a band of vengeful hunters, 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.


Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt is an award-winning US film-maker with seven feature films and three short films to her credit. She made her feature debut with River Of Grass in 1994, with her second Old Joy coming 12 years later in 2006. Since then, she has been prolific delivering Wendy And Lucy (2008), Meek’s Cutoff (2010), Night Moves (2013), Certain Women (2016) and First Cow (2019). First Cow screened for the first time in Telluride 2019, but it had its international premiere in competition at Berlin this year.

Cast & Crew

Director Kelly Reichardt

Scriptwriter(s) Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt

Producer(s) Anish Savjani, Neil Kopp, Vincent

Cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt

Production Designer Anthony Gasparro

Editor Kelly Reichardt

Music William Tyler

Costumes Designer April Napier

Cast John Magaro, Orion Lee, Toby
Jones, Ewen Bremner

Production Companies Filmscience

Distributor A24

World Sales A24

World Panorama