The movie

Cow

The director followed Luma’s daily life for four years. The camera gets in so close to Luma’s skin that she regularly knocks over the filmmaker. The result is an intimate and purely cinematic portrait of an animal trapped in a cold system.

Length: 93 min
Country: United Kingdom
Language spoken: English
Language subtitles: Dutch
Cast:
Director: Andrea Arnold
Release date: 2021

Description

A calf is born. For experienced mother Luma, a Holstein Friesian, this is routine. She licks her calf before it is quickly taken away from her. Luma's life is a succession of insemination, giving birth, and being milked. Director Andrea Arnold (‘Fish Tank’, ‘American Honey’) followed Luma’s daily life for four years. The camera gets in so close to Luma’s skin that she regularly knocks over the filmmaker. The result is an intimate and purely cinematic portrait of an animal trapped in a cold system.

‘Raw, essential viewing… Arnold’s film encourages an intimacy and emotional connection with its bovine subject that is rarely achieved elsewhere. The closest comparison would be Viktor Kosakovskiy’s “Gunda” (2020), which traced the daily life of a pig through artfully framed black and white photography. Arnold, however, has no desire to prettify her subject matter. The film is shot with handheld urgency, the lens positioned at udder and eye level. She forces us to confront the grinding cycle of life for a dairy cow, the dull buzz of strip lights and the murky gloom in the milking sheds.’—Wendy Ide, The Observer

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