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Cow

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United Kingdom
·
2022

1h 33m

Director Andrea Arnold
Starring Lin Gallagher

Genre Documentary

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This unflinching, empathetic documentary from Andrea Arnold shows the life of dairy cow Luma, bringing viewers into her world on an industrial British farm. The film observes her from birth to death, showing viewers her deep experiences and emotions, as well as the harsh treatment she receives.

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80

Time Out by Dave Calhoun

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.
83

The Playlist by Elena Lazic

No matter which way one looks at it — whether at cow-level or not — the lives of these animals are not happy ones. Therefore, the ethical question that remains isn’t about whether these animals are being treated well or not, but simply about what we are willing to live with.
91

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The small miracle of director Andrea Arnold’s experiential documentary is that it enacts its simple premise in straightforward terms, but assembles them into a profound big picture.
80

Variety by Guy Lodge

A filmmaker infectiously attuned to movement, Arnold finds a horrible, hypnotic rhythm in these gruelingly looped procedures, though she doesn’t shoot them with any surplus beauty.
80

TheWrap by Jason Solomons

The main problem, on the surface, is why would you watch it? It’s certainly not a crowd pleaser, but there is remarkable film craft on display, plenty of moments of wonder and beauty, some heart-melting tenderness and a finale to match “The Irishman.”
80

Screen Daily by Tim Grierson

There remains something unknowable about Luma, but while that proves a limitation, Cow also turns it into a strength. We wonder what’s she thinking, and then we put ourselves in her place — and realise it’s not a great place to be.

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