If we think of the dairy cows in children’s books, we probably picture a happy cow lolling about in a field, milked by hand by a nice lady in a mob cap. Our benign image of dairy farming is deeply ingrained. Director Andrea Arnold’s film COW presents a different reality. It follows a dairy cow called Luma over a few years. We see her give birth, separated from her calf, and repeatedly milked by machines while standing on concrete. There is no commentary or explanation for the scenes presented: it is simply an invitation to consider the life of this mammal.

Perhaps it takes 90-odd minutes ...


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