Her Name Was Europa

16mm | 76 min | b/w | 2020


Aurochs is the name given to the wild ancestor of modern cattle. The aurochs has the distinction of being the first documented case of extinction. The last known wild aurochs died in the Jaktorów Forest in Poland in 1627. Both, hunting and the introduction of domesticated cattle led to its decline and disappearance. Its value, however, derived not just from being a source of sustenance. Traits that were attributed to the animal, such as speed, strength and courage, imbued it with great symbolic power.

Some of its body parts were ascribed with supernatural powers. The skin of the forehead and a cross-shaped bone inside the heart were prized for their magical properties. Those who carried them became possessors of the animal’s traits.

In the 20th century, efforts to bring back the aurochs from extinction began to materialize.


Berlin International Film Festival – Forum Expanded; Berlin, Germany 2020