This film really surprised me. I was not sure if I really wanted to see this film; the premise seemed a little confusing and possibly sad. But sometimes taking a chance at a film festival is very rewarding, and Women With Cows was rewarding.
The movie is about two aging sisters, one of whom looks after cows at their late father’s farm. Brit is deeply attached to the cows, she lives for the cows. Igmar hates the cows, but worries that her sister will simply collapse without them.
I didn’t immediately “find my way into this film,” and at first I was frustrated by Igmar. Her sister, Brit, is very feeble. Due to an accident years ago that never healed properly, she walks completely bent over, and I mean completely bent over. She is almost 77, but as another audience member said, she looked 177. Why didn’t Igmar simply put her foot down and take away the cows, I wondered. Then I remembered a conversation I had with my dad, about my grandmother still driving. I realized that, just as it’s hard to tell an old person to stop driving, it was equally hard for Igmar to tell Brit that the cows had to go. In a way, it was worse, because the cows were Brit’s whole eixistence.
The film was sad, but not overwhelmingly so, and I was surprised how much I ended up relating to the story. It was also a filthy film, and by that I mean there was cow dung everywhere! I was struck by how filthy cows are, with the everpresent urine and feces and the nonstop chewing! (I’m not a farm girl, can you tell?) I could almost smell the animals, and I’m sure it was a disgusting stench. All in all, I’m glad I took a risk on this film, and I was surprised by how much it resonated with me.