The Moo Man

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“Cows have a great dignity about them; they’re noble and graceful and very expressive.” — Steve Hook

Director: Andy Heathcote
Year: 2013
Country: Germany, UK
Running time: 97 mins

Photography/Sound: Andy Heathcote
Co-director/Editor: Heike Bachelier
Producers: Andy Heathcote, Heike Bachelier
Sound: Peter Hodges
Music: Stephen Daltry
DCP

With: Stephen Hook, Phil Hook, Paul Vidler

Festivals: Sundance, Berlin 2013

Andy Heathcote’s The Moo Man is a “keenly observed, beautifully filmed documentary about a Sussex farmer struggling to survive in a world of big supermarkets and oppressive health and safety regulations. A hit at the Sundance Film Festival, this gentle, honest film keeps its audience enthralled from sunny start to tear-stained finish – an impressive achievement, since it’s about cows. Steve Hook, the ‘moo man’ of the title, runs a small family dairy farm and sells raw (i.e. unpasteurised) milk at local farmers’ markets and via doorstep delivery. It is, he says, the only way he can keep the farm going in a world where it costs 35p to produce every pint, but a farmer gets only 27p from the supermarkets… Filming took place over a year and the seasons play their part in the film without ever being exploited for picturesque effect. Indeed, it is the ability to shape the material into an emotionally satisfying story without ever manipulating it that makes The Moo Man one of the best British documentaries in many a moo-n.” — Nick Roddick, Evening Standard