First Cow

First Cow ★★★★½

"History isn't here yet. It's coming, but we got here early this time. Maybe this time, we can be ready for it. We can take it on our own terms."

Any story about the frontier has a looming threat of brutality, and any story about commerce, particularly early commerce, is about dominion and the exercise of power, about people claiming ownership over other people, or claiming ownership over the natural world, shutting everyone else out.

Only Reichardt could take this story and stare these ideas in the face but still make it primarily a moving portrait of friendship and innovation. She marvels at what humble gains the main characters manage to make and laments that the world is intent on excluding them and people like them. A beautiful film.

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