Bloody Milk

Image from the film Bloody Milk

Bloody Milk [2017]: Director Hubert Charuel’s French drama, Bloody Milk ('Petit paysan') tells the story of a farmer named Pierre Chavanges (Swann Arlaud) who does everything he can to save his herd of cows from an epidemic sweeping across Europe, even if it means breaking the law and putting himself at risk. However, as his veterinarian sister catches wind of his secrets, Pierre struggles to keep the truth hidden from his loved ones.

Prince of the Herd: The narrative of Bloody Milk starts out innocently enough in its approach: a hardworking young farmer who still lives with his parents and is heavily invested in the well-being of his cows. He prides himself on the success he has accumulated with his milk production and overall maintenance of the livestock. Once there seems to be a spread of a disease that could threaten to have all of his cows put down, Pierre takes desperate measures to hide the evidence of the epidemic, plunging him even further down a path of no return. His friends and family notice a change in his demeanor, skillfully conveyed through Arlaud’s subtle yet effective delivery. He carries most of the film with his commitment to the role and the believability of his portrayal.

Till the Cows Come Home: One would think that a film centered on the love a farmer has for his cows would not require much bloodshed, but Bloody Milk incorporates elements of suspense in an otherwise ordinary setting. Pierre’s dilemma heightens to the point of no return, and even though there is a limited amount of gore shown, the level of tension still remains. Putting aside the more thrilling aspects of the film, it is obvious that Charuel has a personal connection with the way he directs the feature, even going as far as to film the main setting at his own family farm. Bloody Milk doubles as both a labor of love and a crime of passion.


With an unconventional premise that still delivers on high stakes tension,
Bloody Milk is sure to entertain through genuine heart.

Bloody Milk is featured on Borrowing Tape's Best Films of 2017 list.

Follow our coverage of the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival