With sensuous imagery and subtle narrative audacity, The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future announces Francisca Alegría as an exciting new directorial voice with a vision that captures the humane and the unexplainable in equal measure. In the film, which premiered at Sundance, Cecilia (Blade II’s Leonor Varela) is a tough-minded surgeon and single parent in the city, refusing to accept her trans daughter’s identity. When she receives a call that her elderly father believes he has seen Cecilia’s long dead mother, Cecilia returns to the family farm to find an increasingly alarming series of bizarre visions among the livestock.
As concern over toxicity in the local water supply and the resulting death of local animals increases, so does an otherworldly bond across generations in Cecilia’s fractured family. The mystery surrounding the matriarch’s death resurfaces old traumas, pushing the family towards either total collapse or restoration. Part eco-ghost story, part humanist family melodrama, and part surreal fable musing on contemporary concerns, this film—which also stars Mía Maestro (End of the Century, Frameline43)—thrillingly defies easy categorization.
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