Cow review: a touching documentary shot on a dairy farm

“Have you ever looked a cow in the eye?” If you watch Andrea Arnold’s documentary, “you definitely can,” Clarisse Loughrey said in The Independent. Shot over four years on a dairy farm in Kent, this surprisingly gripping, largely wordless film allocates most of its 94-minute run time to a Holstein-Friesian named Luma. We watched her give birth. We watch her chew cud. We watch her get “stuck in the milking machine, its nozzles sticking out like the heads of hungry leeches” – and then “we watch those processes again. Add birth; more milk.” The movie is “dirty and ill-equipped”; it captures the “trivial cruelty” inflicted on dairy cows – but there are also poetic moments: “at one point, Arnold even caught Luma dreamily looking up at the stars.”

Wendy Ide said: “This is certainly not the first film to make the point that industrial farming and animal welfare are difficult issues to solve. The Observer. However, this “important” documentary “encourages intimacy and emotional connection with the bull theme that is rarely available elsewhere”. Scenes with “emergency hand-held, lens positioned at eye and nipple level”; notably 45 minutes before we “get a glimpse of a blade of grass”. It’s a bleak movie and a challenging one, Deborah Ross said in Audience. Why am I watching a bull for 94 minutes? “What makes this cow so interesting?” But in the end you care, and the finale, when it arrives, is hard to bear. The thing is, vegans already know about industrial dairy farming, and the rest of us won’t be looking for this movie, because they’d rather look away. All I can say is “the next time I put milk in my tea, I felt Luma’s big eyes looking at me. So it’s totally haunting that way.” Cow review: a touching documentary shot on a dairy farm

Fry Electronics Team

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