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When Mina (Maryam Moghadam) learns that her husband was executed for a crime he did not commit, her life falls into turmoil. She struggles to seek justice for her husband, and to carry on life with her deaf daughter – in a society where she, now a single woman, has very little power.

Ballad of a White Cow is a restrained and emotionally devastating study of capital punishment and the reverberations of grief in its wake. The film’s visual style – characterised by sparse environments, muted colours, and lingering camera shots – strips away any excess to meditate on the ever difficult and deeply human drama of death. Maryam Moghadam, who also co-wrote and co-directed the film, is gripping in a sober performance as the bereaved Mina – bearing the weight of Mina’s judgement from an austere Iranian society, and the complicated heartache of her loss, with realism.

Ballad of a White Cow premiered at the Fajr International Film Festival in 2020, and was part of the Berlinale competition section at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival.

Elisabeth Aslesen


Behtash Sanaeeha is an Iranian writer and director who is following up his acclaimed feature film debut, Risk of Acid Rain, with Ballad of a White Cow. This film is his fourth collaboration with Iranian actor, writer, and director Maryam Moghadam, and their first shared writer/director credit.

This film is part of


Original title قصیده گاو سفید

Country Iran, France

Year 2020

Director Maryam Moghadam, Behtash Sanaeeha

Screenplay Mehrdad Kouroshniya, Maryam Moghadam, Behtash Sanaeeha

Cinematography Amin Jafari

Producer Etienne de Ricaud, Gholamreza Moosavi

Cast Maryam Moghadam, Alireza Sani Far, Pouria Rahimi Sam, Avin Poor Raoufi

Production Company Totem Films

Distribution Storytelling Media

Runtime 1h 45m

Language Farsi

Subtitles Norwegian

Genre Drama

Format DCP

Age limit 12

Links IMDb

This film is in competition for the Audience Award.

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