Directed by Andrea Arnold
Cinematography by Mada Kowalezyk
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Despite this documentary film mainly focusing on a Holstein dairy cow called Luma, who, along with many other cows and calves based in English dairy farms, this is not for the appreciation of dedicated nature lovers.
Set over a four year period – I am not sure why it took such a long time – it showed the often cruel and shabby conditions the animals were subjected to.
The workers based there did not typify what people regard as farmers. They were all doing a job with little appreciation of the animals claustrophobic living conditions.
The vast majority of the cows time is spent in the farm buildings, with only the occasional visit to the pasture.
Most agonising for Luma was the little time she spent with her newly born calves before they were taken away for her. The calves initiative is to suckle their mother but instead are bottle fed.
To add to the anguish of the calves, their horns were burnt off.
I agree with the view that Luma’s life is one of muck, milk, breeding and feeding.
It was tough going watching this harrowing documentary but the final scene encapsulated the too often barbarous treatment of farm animals when Luma is led away and shot dead once in the head. The person who committed this evil deed did not appear to have even a slight regret of what he had done.