Beguilingly bizarre tale of a peasant who so adores his cow, the only one in the village, that he is driven insane by suspicion when it dies and he is told (in an attempt to lessen the blow) it has disappeared. Basically the film is designed as a naturalistic portrait of village life, with its sense of community, its petty intrigues and rivalries, its primitive ways and means. But over it, quite literally, hangs the dark of the moon as the bereaved hero sits on the roof of his stable, staring out into the night before descending to take the cow's place, terrified of being stolen in his turn. The man's delusion (or is it a self-protecting magic?) boils up into a dark, demonic possession which suddenly bursts like a star-shell in an ending which speaks volumes about the failure to understand which turns some men into beasts. Truly fascinating, even if Mehrjui occasionally loses his way.