USA, Germany, France, Chile
2022 98 mins
Subtitles : English
“Teeming with thought-provoking ideas, wonderfully atmospheric, and often visually striking” - Jonathan Holland, SCREEN DAILY
As fish and cows die in droves, affected by the discharge of a cellulose plant nearby the Cruces River in Southern Chile, Magdalena (Mia Maestro)—who, years prior, willfully drove her motorcycle in the same waters and drowned—emerges from the gunk, long-dead yet miraculously young. Wandering through the small town haphazardly, she encounters her widowed husband, now an old man, in a vision that sends a shockwave through the family tree. As their daughter Cecilia (Leonor Varela) and her own children urgently visit the family’s dairy farm, the ghost’s presence invites further supernatural phenomena—most painful of which is, perhaps, the realization of a life of avoidance, the trauma of suicide and climate change intermingled and laid bare for all to see. As the past comes crashing into the present, a miraculous mother and two generations of neglected daughters hear the call of the future in the form of a song.
A remarkable feature debut from Chilean director Francisca Alegría, the evocatively titled THE COW WHO SANG A SONG INTO THE FUTURE
opens with a choir of fish and cows—only to become more beguiling from there on. A unique blend of South American magical realism, nigh-classical ghost tale, ecological fable and familial melodrama, it is a hypnotizing genre hybrid that synthesizes various traditions to arrive at a film that feels resolutely urgent, of the moment, yet wholly personal. Full of vivid characters and a mysterious atmosphere that ebbs and flows as the story unfolds, Alegría places us under a ghostly spell, collapsing space and time to our delight. – Ariel Esteban Cayer