classified 12A

Please note: This was screened in Jan 2022

Andrea Arnold
94 mins, 2021, UK
Primary language

Andrea Arnold 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.