Claudine Bories & Patrice Chagnard
France | 2021 | 100 min
Language : French
Subtitle : English
Vedette has hitherto reigned unchallenged over her herd, but the “queen” has now aged. To prevent young rival cows from deposing her, the filmmakers’ neighbours entrust them to look after her for a summer. Thus begins the study of a comical cohabitation between Vedette and Claudine Bories, mischievously observed by Patrice Chagnard.
More accustomed to social issues (such as in Les Arrivants or the recent Nous le peuple), Claudine Bories and Patrice Chagnard have also been living for ten years in a small chalet in the Valaisan Alps, which provides a unique observation post for ancient landscapes and for the very loud migration of herds of Hérens cattle to their summer pastures. The couple shares this dream setting with their neighbours Nicole and Elise, and their cows, whose unchallenged queen goes by the name of Vedette. To prevent the latter being ousted by young rival cows on the mountain pastures, they invite the filmmakers to look after “her majesty” for the summer. Thus begins the comical pursuit of an interchange between city-dwelling Claudine Bories and the totemic animal. Step by step, Patrice Chagnard’s mischievous camera follows their mutual familiarisation, interspersed with quirky attempts (including the cow’s initiation to Carmen and to Mathieu Ricard’s Plaidoyer pour les animaux!)... With this improbable head-to-head, Vedette happily accomplishes the promise of cinema as a relational art between living beings.