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My wife is a cow

OUT NOW! SWIETA KROWA milks the heartstrings that other, less eccentric films do not.

Music in all its guises and applications holds a particular fascination for director Wegrzyn and finds unusual expression in the story of Polish concert pianist Bogdan, who loses his wife, an opera singer, and returns to Poland to bury her.

Mooching despondently around his Catholic mother’s dilapidated farm by the sea, he half-heartedly responds to the local shopkeeper’s suggestion that he play classical music to the cows and finds that one in particular responds by producing the kind of milk that has the locals dancing in the streets. It’s not long before Bogdan decides that the cow is his reincarnated wife, moving into the shed and feeding her the best apples he can find.

The beauty of the film lies in the way it uses a medium well versed in the suspension of disbelief to show a man whose own beliefs are well beyond any kind of normal suspension. the affective and effective use of music merges with the gentle colours of rural Poland and its idiosyncratic characters to create moments of deep sorrow and transcendent joy threaded together by the need to maintain sanity and get through a life-changing experience by embracing illusion.

This meditation on whatever gets you through the dark night of despair is a rare and discerning study of humanity at its quirkiest.

Swieta Krowa (Sommer auf dem Land) | Directed by Radek Wegrzyn (Germany, Poland, Finland 2011), with Zbigniew Zamachowski, Agata Buzek, Antoni Pawlicki. Starts February 16