Diary Of Cattle

****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Diary Of Cattle
"A concise and sharp illustration of one of the many vicious cycles we have entered into as we continue our dubious husbandry of the planet." | Photo: Courtesy of Festivalscope

If David Attenborough's Netflix documentary Our Planet is aiming for a wide sweep of how climate change and the activity of humans is affecting life on Earth - then this short documentary feels like a shocking Bosch painting microcosm, showing human impact on a cow herd in the Padang district of Indonesia.

In Diary Of Cattle, Lidia Afrilita and David Darmadi capture life for the herd, which spends its days picking through the refuse at the Aie Dingin Landfill site. It's a surreal and heartrending sight. There is waste food here, but its muddled in a mass of other human detritus, the cows, plastic crunching beneath their feet, as likely to be found chewing on the remains of a plastic bag as a discarded piece of cabbage.

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Man's presence isn't just obvious in the rubbish but also in machinery that tumbles the waste about just feet from where the cows are attempting to graze. The film is presented without commentary and with little dialogue, offering a simple snapshot of the way the animals spend their time. This approach allows the unpleasantness of it to be absorbed in a way that remains non-judgemental of those who, presumably, have little option but to graze their cattle this way.

Even if you're not an animal lover - and those who are should be warned they are likely find this a tough watch - the double tragedy of it all is that humans, in turn, will consume the cows which have fed on goodness knows what. A concise and sharp illustration of one of the many vicious cycles we have entered into as we continue our dubious husbandry of the planet.

Diary Of Cattle is available to watch for free on Festival Scope until April 28

Reviewed on: 19 Apr 2019
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A day in the life of cows grazing at a landfill site.

Director: Lidia Afrilita, David Darmadi

Year: 2019

Runtime: 18 minutes

Country: Indonesia

Festivals:

Doc/Fest 2019

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