Cannes 2021: Andrea Arnold says she made Cow to remind us of ‘the millions of non-human lives we use’

‘Our relationship with the millions of non-human lives we use is very much part of our existence’

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 07 July 2021 12:20
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<p>Promotional image for Andrea Arnold’s film ‘Cow’</p>

Promotional image for Andrea Arnold’s film ‘Cow’

Andrea Arnold has explained how a childhood surrounded by nature helped inspire her new film, Cow, as it premieres at Cannes.

In a piece for The Guardian, the Kent-born director recalled her “fantastically wild life” growing up on an estate and roaming around woods, motorways and “deserted old industrial spaces”.

“Out of this grew a deep love of insects and birds and animals and plants,” she said.

Arnold said moving to London changed her relationship with nature, but one of the animals she continued to see from car and train windows was cows: “I wondered about the reality of their lives and what that was really like.”

Citing a group of scientists, who in 2012 proclaimed animals to be conscious and aware to the same degree as humans, Arnold said she wanted her film to remind viewers about how “our relationship with the millions of non-human lives we use is very much part of our existence”.

Cow premieres at the Cannes Film Festival tomorrow (Thursday 8 July).

Today it emerged that Annette star Adam Driver apparently became so bored during the five-minute standing ovation for his film that he began smoking a cigarette.

A video circulating on social media shows the actor clapping with his co-stars Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg, before removing a cigarette from his suit pocket and beginning to smoke it.

Annette has received widely mixed reactions, from five-star reviews to critical pans. You can read our review here.

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