The Oscar Project Reviews
Why would anyone be interested in an hour and a half long film about dairy cows with no narration, no plot to speak of, and forces us to look at our treatment of animals for our own gain?
The simple answer is that it’s an incredibly engaging film. It tracks the life cycle of the dairy cows, starting with the birth of one calf and ending with the death of the mother who gave birth. That’s a severe oversimplification of the film. Through the film, the viewer begins to understand what the cow is thinking, existing on her level. When the newly born calf is taken from her after only a few minutes where she is allowed to clean it, one shot lingers on the mother for at least a minute or two, simply watching her bleat in frustration at losing her baby. However, she doesn’t get much time to grieve, as she is sent off to get milked before long, both literally and metaphorically going in circles throughout the course of her life.
The presentation of the film is that of cinema verité, showing us how things are with no comment. Many people will say that this is an anti-dairy farming film, or a pro-vegan/vegetarian film, but I don’t think it is meant as such. It is meant as a look into the world that all of us are connected to, but most will never see or even think of. We go to the grocery store and milk is there in a jug for us, so we don’t have to worry about the process it took to make that happen. I know I thought a bit more about where my food comes from after watching this film, and while I haven’t consciously changed any of my eating habits, I have given more thought to what is required to bring certain items to my plate.
Cow (affiliate link) is a film I would urge anyone to give a chance. It truly is a unique experience for each viewer and the story changes based on your own preconceptions about the topic.
7 out of 10