The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future

La Vaca Que Cantó Una Canción Hacia El Futuro
Directed by Francisca Alegria
Chile | 2022 | Narrative
98 minutes | Spanish

A choir of creatures introduces a world delicately constructed by fantasy, mystery, and a sultry magical realism in director Francisca Alegría’s poignant, stunning debut feature. It begins in a river in southern Chile where fish are dying due to pollution from a nearby factory. Amid their floating bodies, long-deceased Magdalena bubbles up to the surface gasping for air, bringing with her old wounds and a wave of family secrets. This shocking return sends her widowed husband into turmoil and prompts daughter Cecilia to return home to the family’s dairy farm with her own children. Magdalena's presence reverberates strongly among her family, instigating fits of laughter and despair in equal measure with all but Cecilia’s eldest child, who finds much-needed comfort in their grandmother’s love and unconditional understanding during a time of transition. A lyrical rumination on family, nature, renewal, and resurrection, “The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future” is an ambitious proposal for acceptance and healing, suggesting that the dead return when they are most needed.