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Institute of Contemporary Arts
June 2023
Cow, dir. Andrea Arnold, UK 2021, 94 min., English

The aim of Arnold’s (American Honey, LFF 2016) mesmerising documentary is to get down and dirty with Luma, a cow on a working dairy farm, staying as close to her as possible.

Shot with a hand-held camera and at the animal’s eye-level, there is no contextualising voice-over or sense of artifice, just great cinematic flair. Cow is an immersive and visceral viewing experience; from the calving process, the rearing of animals, intensive milking sessions, an all too brief grazing period and, eventually, the inevitable, dreaded end. All captured by Arnold’s deeply empathetic and unwavering gaze.

And throughout the film are Luma’s watchful eyes, often looking directly at us. Experiencing the world from Luma’s perspective cannot help but raise questions about our relationship to the natural world and what we take from it.
08:45 pm
Sun, 10 Oct 2021
Cinema 1
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