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Kozijat rog AKA The Goat Horn (1972) FotW #309

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Kozijat rog AKA The Goat Horn (1972) FotW #309

#1

Post by Cocoa » December 1st, 2019, 6:54 pm

Film of the Week #309: Kozijat rog AKA The Goat Horn (1972)

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Summary:
The film sends us to the 17th century when Bulgaria was a part of the Ottoman Empire. Four hoodlums break into the house of the shepherd Karaivan,
Potential SpoilersShow
raping and killing his wife in full view of their little girl, Maria. Karaivan decides to take the law into his own hands and becomes enslaved by his violent wish for revenge. He burns their house with his wife's body inside and abandons the gentle life they had shared, choosing instead to take his daughter to live in a rough hut high in the hills. He raises Maria as a boy, training her to fight so that she can kill in cold blood and help her father avenge her mother's murder. Nine years pass before the two locate and kill three of the four perpetrators. At each body they leave a goat horn as the symbol of their revenge. While on a mission to kill the last one at his rich oriental house, Maria becomes the unwitting witness of a love scene and change comes over her. Now, from time to time she secretly dons a beautiful women dress and exults in her newly found femininity. She falls in love with young shepherd and the hate begins to melt from her heart. When Karaivan discovers the change that is taking place in her it is already late. He tries to bring Maria back to him and their life of revenge, with disastrous results.

#199 on 500<400, with 140 checks.
Nominated by blocho, Cocoa, and joachimt.
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From the 500<400 resultsShow
#199(⇧70, #269) Kozijat rog (1972)
[The Goat Horn]

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Directed by: Metodi Andonov
(414.06 Pts, 15 Votes) , Top 1–10–50: 0–0–3
History: 199269169611967NA←NA
ICheckMovies: 136 Checks , 22 Favourites , 1 Official list
List of Voters:Show
BaalMan (33)
joachimt (39)
PynchonesquePatrick (39)
mjf314 (72)
bal3x (73)
sushantv10 (73)
Melvelet (77)
Ivan0716 (NA)
Muellwind (113)
beavis (140)
frbrown (172)
insomnius (NA)
klaus78 (222)
Mothravka (NA)
Fergenaprido (297)

This movie fits the current Travel the World Challenge.



Here is a schedule of all the FotWs.

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#2

Post by burneyfan » December 1st, 2019, 6:58 pm

This is SO WEIRD. I am about ten minutes from finishing this movie right now -- I have it on Pause -- I had no idea this was a FotW! I just picked it at random earlier this morning. Maybe I am fated to do the Travel the World Challenge.

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#3

Post by joachimt » December 1st, 2019, 8:26 pm

Beautiful! :wub:
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#4

Post by Fergenaprido » December 2nd, 2019, 7:02 am

Classic Bulgarian cinema. I liked the film overall. 7.6/10 Recommended.
joachimt wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 8:26 pm
Beautiful! :wub:
I remember being surprised when you said you hadn't seen this yet. Glad you enjoyed it... definitely thought it would appeal to you.

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#5

Post by joachimt » December 2nd, 2019, 9:41 am

Fergenaprido wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 7:02 am
Classic Bulgarian cinema. I liked the film overall. 7.6/10 Recommended.
joachimt wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 8:26 pm
Beautiful! :wub:
I remember being surprised when you said you hadn't seen this yet. Glad you enjoyed it... definitely thought it would appeal to you.
That's quite a while ago already then. I watched it in June 2017.
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#6

Post by xianjiro » December 4th, 2019, 1:22 am

While the production values are extremely high, I've got a strong dislike for vengeance tales no matter how humanistic and can't quite say I found this to be that.
SpoilerShow
Yes, the arsehole learns the painful lesson in the end,
but that payload just didn't outweigh the mediocre character development. The acting was fine, and all facets of design were extremely good and convincing, but this just wasn't enough to compensate for the disappointing story development. So end of film, I could only go for 7 stars and am really baffled by the film's high score and appeal to the mass of viewers, most who give it 10 stars.

Two other things: the music felt very stuck in that era of the late 60s to early 70s - seemed like someone had a thing for Joan Baez. Not that this is necessarily a horrible choice, but it did rather date the film and take it out of the time period for which it depicted.

The other thing is the issue related to gender expression. Doesn't seem to be much of an issue the way it plays out here even though clearly the father makes the child behave as a different gender. This is almost made to feel normal until the child finds an alternative, which leads to the grand climax. Wonder how the story would be viewed if Dad's offspring had been the gender he desired and he'd forced the child to behave in the opposite. Methinks folks would view that story a lot less favorably. So I found this vaguely sexist and misogynistic.

But, come for the visuals and pay less attention to the middling story and it's a pretty cool find.

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#7

Post by Fergenaprido » December 4th, 2019, 3:43 am

xianjiro wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 1:22 am
So end of film, I could only go for 7 stars and am really baffled by the film's high score and appeal to the mass of viewers, most who give it 10 stars.
I think this film is little seen outside of Bulgaria, so most of the 10 stars are from Bulgarians.
Bulgarian Films rated 8.0+ on imdbShow
Data from May 1st this year, may be missing films not in my spreadsheet.
9.1 - 2,942 - Vchera (1988)
8.9 - 1,855 - Orkester bez ime (1981)
8.9 - 1,420 - Opasen char (1984)
8.8 - 1,898 - Vreme na nasilie (1988)
8.6 - 2,239 - Kozijat rog (1972)
8.6 - 335 - Taralezhite se razhdat bez bodli (1971)
8.3 - 1,415 - Stapki v pyasaka (2010)
8.1 - 5,371 - Svetat e golym i spasenie debne otvsyakade (2008)
8.0 - 720 - Kradetzat na praskovi (1964)

Most have 1-3,000 votes and are from the communist era, which makes sense why they wouldn't have been widely seen outside of Bulgaria at that time Perhaps they're also staples on Bulgarian TV. It's like a mini Bulgarian mafia on imdb.
xianjiro wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 1:22 am
Two other things: the music felt very stuck in that era of the late 60s to early 70s - seemed like someone had a thing for Joan Baez. Not that this is necessarily a horrible choice, but it did rather date the film and take it out of the time period for which it depicted.
There's a remake from the '90s if you want to check that version out and compare :D
spoilerishShow
xianjiro wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 1:22 am
The other thing is the issue related to gender expression. Doesn't seem to be much of an issue the way it plays out here even though clearly the father makes the child behave as a different gender. This is almost made to feel normal until the child finds an alternative, which leads to the grand climax. Wonder how the story would be viewed if Dad's offspring had been the gender he desired and he'd forced the child to behave in the opposite. Methinks folks would view that story a lot less favorably. So I found this vaguely sexist and misogynistic.
I get what you're saying, but I don't see it as sexist or misogynist in terms of the character or the story. It's an unfortunate fact that women and girls and much more likely to be raped than men and boys, and I imagine it was even more so during the Ottoman period of this film. The father is trying to protect his daughter after the opening tragedy. It's not like he's trying to make a son out of her for his own interest, or because he wishes he had a boy, but because he doesn't want her to meet the same fate as his wife and he wants his revenge. I think if you had a plausible reason why a boy would need to dress and act like a girl in order to be saved/protected, you'd find audiences more receptive to that storyline as well... I just can't think of anything plausible :D So yes, I agree the underlying circumstances can be seen as sexist, but I wouldn't consider the film itself to be.

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#8

Post by xianjiro » December 4th, 2019, 7:29 am

Fergenaprido wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 3:43 am
xianjiro wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 1:22 am
So end of film, I could only go for 7 stars and am really baffled by the film's high score and appeal to the mass of viewers, most who give it 10 stars.
I think this film is little seen outside of Bulgaria, so most of the 10 stars are from Bulgarians.
yeah, wondered if this was a mafia-type thing, but didn't care enough to do any research
Fergenaprido wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 3:43 am
There's a remake from the '90s if you want to check that version out and compare :D
not a huge fan of remakes for the most part :think: wonder why
spoilerishShow
Fergenaprido wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 3:43 am
It's not like he's trying to make a son out of her for his own interest
This is the one thing I rather disagree upon - I saw the father as raising a 'son' to be an instrument in his revenge though I do get the sense as well that dad didn't want a 'weaker' child who could be preyed on. Still, some might argue a girly-girl might have been a better asset in a plot since it's clear most of the rapists like using women. A lot. And remember I qualified my "sexist and misogynistic" with the word "vaguely". Clearly both the time depicted and time/place in which it was made aren't feminist, but just as Gone with the Wind no longer gets a free-pass for it's racism and historical whitewashing, I just couldn't pass up pointing out something that made me uncomfortable.

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#9

Post by Fergenaprido » December 4th, 2019, 9:01 am

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xianjiro wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 7:29 am
spoilerishShow
Fergenaprido wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 3:43 am
It's not like he's trying to make a son out of her for his own interest
This is the one thing I rather disagree upon - I saw the father as raising a 'son' to be an instrument in his revenge though I do get the sense as well that dad didn't want a 'weaker' child who could be preyed on. Still, some might argue a girly-girl might have been a better asset in a plot since it's clear most of the rapists like using women. A lot. And remember I qualified my "sexist and misogynistic" with the word "vaguely". Clearly both the time depicted and time/place in which it was made aren't feminist, but just as Gone with the Wind no longer gets a free-pass for it's racism and historical whitewashing, I just couldn't pass up pointing out something that made me uncomfortable.
Sure. I didn't mean to disparage you; sorry if it came across that way. Haven't seen GWTW yet so can't comment there. I don't understand your point about the girly-girl, though. Are you suggesting he should have used his daughter as bait for the rapists so he could exact his revenge?

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#10

Post by xianjiro » December 4th, 2019, 10:03 am

Fergenaprido wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 9:01 am
more spoilerish stuffShow
xianjiro wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 7:29 am
spoilerishShow
Fergenaprido wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 3:43 am
It's not like he's trying to make a son out of her for his own interest
This is the one thing I rather disagree upon - I saw the father as raising a 'son' to be an instrument in his revenge though I do get the sense as well that dad didn't want a 'weaker' child who could be preyed on. Still, some might argue a girly-girl might have been a better asset in a plot since it's clear most of the rapists like using women. A lot. And remember I qualified my "sexist and misogynistic" with the word "vaguely". Clearly both the time depicted and time/place in which it was made aren't feminist, but just as Gone with the Wind no longer gets a free-pass for it's racism and historical whitewashing, I just couldn't pass up pointing out something that made me uncomfortable.
Sure. I didn't mean to disparage you; sorry if it came across that way. Haven't seen GWTW yet so can't comment there. I don't understand your point about the girly-girl, though. Are you suggesting he should have used his daughter as bait for the rapists so he could exact his revenge?
Naw, didn't feel disparaged or anything like that. Just wanted to add discussion points.

As for dad's choice, and no I'm not saying he should have only he could have and it could be argued that a different set of choices might have yielded other results. Dad could have concocted a honey trap instead of doing what he did. To me, the fact that dad made choices, and especially the choice he did make, leads me to feel he chose to make his child an instrument of his grand scheme and making a different choice wouldn't have made the choice to use his child as a tool any less meaningful. Dad was clearly doing what he did with a selfish motivation, albeit in addition to the more altruistic motive you point out. I would view the situation differently if the kid had said, "Dad, help me ..." be it enact revenge or protect oneself against violence, but there is no hint of this and the child seemingly acquiesces to the father's plan up to a certain point, which, btw, didn't really sell me as a convincing character arc moment. But maybe I'm too cynical and also know that real bad people can also have moments of tenderness: I've read Hitler was kind to dogs even as the masses were herded into concentration camps.

And how is it you've not yet seen GWtW yet? Philosophical? Too long? Most people I know who say they haven't watched it do so because of repugnance for the subject. I just take it for granted that most kinophiles will have seen it by this stage of watching movies. But it's often lambasted for romanticizing the deplorable institutions of slavery, class-ism, and war while perpetuating the idea that the South was somehow a virtuous place torn apart by those nasty Yankees for no good reason. As Scarlet (and Divine) say, "Tomorrow is another day."

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#11

Post by Fergenaprido » December 4th, 2019, 10:41 am

It wasn't a film my parents would have shown me when I was a kid, and I never seemed to encounter it as a teen or uni student when I first started exploring film.

The subject matter doesn't turn me off, and I genuinely do want to see the film. Since then, though, it's largely the length that's put me off. I managed to get a good copy a few years ago, so I actually have the film now, but it's almost achieved such revered status among my unseen classics (I think The Godfather is the only other super notable classic that I haven't yet seen that takes people aback {and maybe Saving Private Ryan}, but it's also long and somewhat violent from what I've heard), that I kind of want to save it until the end. Was thinking for a while to make it the film that finishes the imdb Top 250, for example.

However, I really want to kick off my Around the World Project next year, starting with the Anglosphere, so I will probably make more time to watch it by the end of 2020.

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#12

Post by xianjiro » December 4th, 2019, 8:41 pm

Fergenaprido wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 10:41 am
It wasn't a film my parents would have shown me when I was a kid, and I never seemed to encounter it as a teen or uni student when I first started exploring film.

The subject matter doesn't turn me off, and I genuinely do want to see the film. Since then, though, it's largely the length that's put me off. I managed to get a good copy a few years ago, so I actually have the film now, but it's almost achieved such revered status among my unseen classics (I think The Godfather is the only other super notable classic that I haven't yet seen that takes people aback {and maybe Saving Private Ryan}, but it's also long and somewhat violent from what I've heard), that I kind of want to save it until the end. Was thinking for a while to make it the film that finishes the imdb Top 250, for example.

However, I really want to kick off my Around the World Project next year, starting with the Anglosphere, so I will probably make more time to watch it by the end of 2020.
one minor note on the length - it's really set up as two parts and was traditionally shown on US TV over two nights. While I don't remember if it has a formal intermission on the DVD, it might. Otherwise the fade out after Scarlet's "I'll never be hungry again." is the usual splitting spot.

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#13

Post by blocho » December 6th, 2019, 2:07 pm

I thought this was OK. I don't feel as highly as many people do, but I still see some value. It has an interesting combination of a revenge story with a girl-who-rebels-against-her-father (or mother or grandparents, etc.) story. I feel like every single girl-who-rebels movie I've ever seen features a girl who is pushing away from traditional gender roles, so it's a bit strange to see a movie where the girl is pushing toward a more traditional femininity.

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