In the eyes of the animal: Cow by Andrea Arnold

Picture of the movie Cow © Kate Kirkwood


For her return to Cannes, English director Andrea Arnold, who is also president of this year's Un Certain Regard jury, presents a documentary entitled Cow, an astonishing portrait of the daily life of two cows.

After presenting Red Road in 2006, Fish Tank in 2009, and American Honey in 2016, for which she won the Jury Prize on each occasion, Andrea Arnold is once again in the spotlight this year in the new Cannes Première section, which presents the latest films by Festival veterans.

Since her last feature film American Honey, a road movie that chronicled a wild and debauched youth in the American midwest, Andrea Arnold had mainly been interested in the series format, directing episodes for the series I Love Dick, Transparent and, most recently, season 2 of Big Little Lies, alongside actresses Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Meryl Streep.

“This is the story of a reality, that of a dairy cow, and a tribute to the immense service she renders us. When I look at Luma, our cow, I see the whole world through her.”
Andrea Arnold

The English director, known for her naturalistic style that sometimes borders on documentary, offers us a more radical take with Cow: that of putting our human concerns on hold to oblige us to look nature in the eye. Here, the cow is not only the main character of the film, but the basis of a raw reality, that of the animal in an era where the human takes precedence. The directing then moves to a rhythm that is not our own, the rhythm of the non-human. Andrea Arnold's camera, which until then had been more focused on the social and psychological dimensions of humanity, opens up in this new feature film to the contemplation of the animal in its purest beauty, thus putting into perspective our relationship with the other, in its broadest and most universal sense.

In addition to presenting her film Cow at the beginning of the Festival, the director is also chairing the Jury of the Un Certain Regard selection.