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BBFC Ratingf-rated FilmCow

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Director(s)Andrea Arnold
Running Time1HR 34MINS
SeasonMain Programme

Andrea Arnold (American Honey, Fish Tank) takes you on a seemingly simple yet ultimately radical journey in this mesmerising documentary, which offers an insight into the life of a dairy cow.

Conceived by design, the serene, sombre Luma is born on to a dairy farm where she is kept permanently pregnant in order to maximise her production of milk. Enduring monotonous agribusiness days, milked by massive, clanking machinery, her life is shown to be one undignified cycle of pumping, impregnation, gestation and birth, and entirely not her own.

Staying close to Luma, cinematographer Magdalena Kowalczyk’s camera invites us to see the world as a cow – or at the very least, to consider the deeper mystery of that proposition. 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.

"There's nothing cloying or corny about the way Arnold depicts these beasts. What she gives us is a straightforward slice of a cow's relentless life of muck, milk, breeding and feeding." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out

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