»I kept saying involuntarily during the edit: ›I’m seeing you, Luma. Don’t worry Luma, we see you.‹ I’m not sure any farm animal really feels seen. And I wondered what that meant in terms of her existence.« – Andrea Arnold
Luma the cow’s laborious working day is determined by a fixed routine: waiting, going to the milk shed, being milked, eating. Luma is like a worker, the English farm on which she is kept a factory. Alongside lots of other cows, there are also people on the farm who handle the animals with distanced friendliness.
For four years, the camera in Cow is Luma’s constant and close companion. In this time, we become witnesses to the simple and cruel equation that the ›dairy cow‹ Luma only produces milk when she gives birth to a calf, which is then taken away from her. After her first birth, we follow the next stages in the calf’s life. Without anthropomorphising Luma, this tender portrait never leaves a moment of doubt that she has feelings and is fully aware of what is happening around her. There are many difficult and profoundly tragic moments. We sense her bewilderment at what is done to her, and her attempts to resist are heart-wrenching. But Luma also experiences moments of happiness and contentment, for example when she frolics joyfully on the spring pasture for the first time.
In cooperation with the Office of Equal Opportunity at KHM
Guest: Magda Kowalczyk (DoP) (requested)
This film has been nominated for the Audience Award endowed with 1,000 euro. Please vote after watching the movie.
You can find an overview of all nominated films here.
Andrea Arnold began her career aged 18 as a roller-skating presenter of the British children’s TV show No 73, before studying directing at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. She won numerous awards with her first short film Milk, and went on to receive an Oscar for Wasp in 2005. Andrea Arnold can look back on an outstanding body of work. Her first feature film, the thriller Red Road (2006), won the Jury Prize in Cannes, as did two other films Fish Tank (2009) and American Honey (2016). Fish Tank also earned the British Academy Award for Best British Film of the Year in 2010. Cow is Arnold’s first foray into documentary film-making.
Films by Andrea Arnold (Selection)
Big Little Lies 2019 | American Honey 2016 | Wuthering Heigths 2011 | Fish Tank 2009 | Red Road 2006 | Coming Up 2003 | Wasp 2003 | Dog 2001 | Milk 1998 | Hotel Babylon 1996