Cow, dir. Andrea Arnold, United Kingdom 2021, 94 min., English
Andrea Arnold made her name with outstanding dramas such as Wasp, which won the Academy Award for Best Short Film, and the Cannes Jury Prize-winning American Honey. And now, for Cow, Arnold turns documentarian as she immerses in the all-too-brief life of Luma, a heifer on an unremarkable dairy farm in Kent.
Cow tells the full story: from calving to animal-rearing, milking to grazing, life to death. There’s no voiceover, narration or talking-head interviews to provide context – it’s just us, Luma and her cohort of companions down on the farm. In this unexpectedly involving film, Arnold simply invites us to see the world as Luma sees it – and to consider both our place in and our relationship with the natural world.