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First Cow by Kelly Reichardt

The Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum partner with A24 to premiere Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow on Thursday, July 9th.

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.

First Cow was the Closing Weekend centerpiece film at the 43rd Portland International Film Festival. The film was shot in the Pacific Northwest and written by local novelist Jon Raymond. Anish Savjani & Neil Kopp are producers on the film. This is a melodic, beautiful, and timeless tale of friendship that soaks you into the atmosphere of 1820s yet feels wholly relevant to the world we inhabit now.

The film will release digitally on July 10th. Watch all the virtual screenings offered by the Northwest Film Center here.

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