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The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future

1h 38m Drama, Fantasy, Experimental 2022

This surreal, offbeat fable of environmental destruction and familial reconciliation defies audience expectations at every turn.

Magdalena arises from the bottom of the Cruces River in southern Chile. Many years earlier, she drowned in its waters; now, the river is polluted with factory waste, fish are vanishing and the surrounding forest is under threat, while local authorities remain unruffled. Closer to home, Magdalena’s return inspires her husband, children and grandchildren to face some unresolved regrets. No-one quite understands why or how she has been brought back, but with a second chance comes the opportunity to set things right.

Premiering at Sundance, Francisca Alegría’s debut feature is an absorbing and mysterious exploration of environmental issues, generational trauma and the transformative potential of each person’s choices. The Chilean director’s meditative style is attentive to the moods of nature, but it’s also audacious: fish and cows lament through song, while the mostly silent Magdalena expresses herself in other, more visceral ways. This magic-realist oddity is richly visualised and boldly told – a timely, hopeful plea for a better ecological future.

“Teeming with thought-provoking ideas, wonderfully atmospheric, and often visually striking … It’s a hypnotic and entrancing ride.” – Screen Daily


Tom Dercourt


Francisca Alegría


Fernanda Urrejola


Manuela Infante


Inti Briones


Pierre Desprats


Spanish, with English subtitles




Chile, France, United States, Germany

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