Holy Cowboys

Holy Cowboys

Holy Cowboys provides a chilling picture of how youth in some corners of India get indoctrinated and recruited as cow vigilantes. Filmmaker Varun Chopra, taking full advantage of the formidable access he has into this world, decides to lay things bare through the camera. On the one hand, Chopra showcases the genuine care and loving concern for animals, and on the other, he depicts how the righteous urge to protect the holy cow is weaponized into something divisive, creating bigotry and communal divide, and inciting brutality and violence.

Chopra observes the inner workings and activities of this Hindu nationalist group without intervening or overtly imposing his own views. By choosing to tell the story from the intimate perspective of an adolescent boy, whose sensitivity and idealism are being artfully and cruelly manipulated throughout the course of the film with increasingly devastating consequences, he brings a hard-hitting immediacy to the viewing experience that’s both chilling and enlightening. The film’s gut-wrenching ending speaks of the horrific cost of irrational human divides and raises provocative questions about the boundaries of documentary as a medium.

Directed by Varun Chopra (India)

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