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Directed by Kelly Reichardt

United States 2020 In English

The Northwest Film Center and the Portland Art Museum present First Cow. Opens [online] Thursday, July 9, 2020.

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.

A24 is making First Cow available to us one day early, before its VOD release. This rental (available starting 7 pm on July 9) includes a pre-taped Q&A with director Kelly Reichardt.

Your ticket will directly support both NWFC and PAM and we encourage all of our members, staff, and supporters to join us—and spread the word.

Friends of PAM and the NWFC should enter the discount code FC2020 to receive a reduced ticket price of $9.99.

NWFC & PAM are thrilled to partner with A24 on the release of Portland’s most renowned independent filmmaker Kelly Reichart’s First Cow. Not only shot in the Pacific Northwest but written by local novelist Jon Raymond and produced by Anish Savjani & Neil Kopp, 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.

At a time when the bulk of cinemas are expected to remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, our plan is to continue bringing new films at an affordable price point to the PAM and NWFC audiences that allow us to follow social distancing rules.

First Cow
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
United States | 2020 | 122 min | Drama | PG-13

Movie Reviews:

In Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, Capitalism Continues to Divide and Conquer – Vulture

The Film That You Might Not Hear About but Have to See – The Atlantic

Genres: Drama



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.