Places of setting — the modern Riga with its fast tempo of life and a remote town in Latvia with a slaughterhouse – almost the sole source of income for many inhabitants of the town whose life is so monotonous that a cow that has escaped from the slaughterhouse creates a sense of general elation.

Time — about ten years after Latvia has regained its freedom from the soviet communist regime. The small-town environment, daily life, people and their mode of thinking have not been fully freed yet from the old heritage of the “soviet times”. Unlike the European Riga everything is more conservative and less apt to change in the remote countryside.

Realities. Riga businessman Tomass comes to a small rural town to his uncle’s funeral and to take a look at the inherited house, which he wants to sell. Tomass does not intend to stay here for long. But his plans change when he meets the girl called Mona and sees the house that turns out to be a mysterious world in itself. Tomass gets interested both in the fragile girl who is incredibly strong at the moments when she has to help the calves come into the world, and her strange link with his uncle who had emigrated abroad during the war and later had left his successful business and for some reason returned to this remote corner. Unexpectedly while exploring his uncle’s house Tomass finds Mona’s photographs and a series of incomprehensible events occur – it all intrigues him and the temptation is so great that Tomass is taken over by a nightmarish passion that drags Tomass more and more into the local events. But the most important event at that moment in the town is the current cow that has escaped from the slaughterhouse that appears here and there and everyone gets involved in capturing the animal, including police. The animal runs from death, a man runs away from one life into another one…

Conflicts. While Tomass gets to know the strange and exotic world and aspires to possess Mona, telephone calls keep dragging him back to Riga. Tomass goes into an ever greater conflict with his previous business life and with the animal slaughterer Henks to whom Mona time and again entrusts the keys from her flat and her body. A peculiar conflict exists between occasional passionate declarations made by Tomass concerning his vegetarianism and the town’s slaughterhouse whose atmosphere is felt everywhere.  But Mona’s life is made more complicated by the local boozer Arkadijs, who takes the opportunity of the moment when Henk’s and Mona’s relations begin to deteriorate and proposes to her, declaring that he will give no peace to the girl anyway. An irreconcilable conflict is formed also between Tomass and Mona who aspire for each other at the same time suspecting that their worlds are incompatible.

Transformations. „Animal murderers turn into animals after death but the killed animals acquire such bodies that help them to kill their murderers." These are the words that Tomass contemptuously throws into Henks’ face unsuspecting how prophetic they are. The visions and dreams that permeate the film are full of unreality but the all-inclusive eroticism that turns the slaughterhouse into a boudoir with a blood puddle is not a vision. Quite real seems also Henks’ face that both the lovers Mona and Tomass notice only at the moment when he already acquires the beastly outline. It is a moment of metamorphosis and death when one has to fight for one’s life – by depriving of it someone else.  It does not matter who puts a stop to it – those driven into a corner or the mechanical contraptions of the slaughterhouse.  Because metamorphosis has taken place, the prophetic statements have come true although in the morning when Mona and Tomass wake up they cannot tell if they have both had one and the same terrifying dream…

Choice. Henks’ mysterious death that has set the town into commotion aggravates the situation even more and places Tomass in front of a choice. Mona is forced to choose as well. Tomass returns to Riga but his newly gained experience has not been vain. Tomass leaves everything and hurries back to the town where a surprise awaits him…

Production Company
Jānis Juhņēvičs & Imants Mozers
Film Studio "DEVINI"
Smerla 3, office 326, LV -1006, Riga, Latvia,
Tel./Fax. +371 67241688
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