Being With Cows

FEATURE FILM (Draft 2 script available)

The centenary anniversary of Katherine Mansfield’s death is approaching (9 Jan 2023). This film is a fact-based fictional account of Mansfield’s final days spent with the Armenian-Greek mystic Gurdjieff, and his commune of refugees, bohemians and animals in the forest of Fontainebleau, France.

Screenplay by Gaylene Barnes

”Life is, all at one and the same time, far more mysterious, and far simpler than we know."


A desperate hope for miraculous healing drives consumptive writer, Katherine Mansfield, to join a mystic cult in the forests of France (1922). But instead, she seizes the authentic life offered and learns to accept her unavoidable death.


Period (1922), Biography, Romance

"One element that is absolutely gorgeous and important to the story is the script’s attention to 
detail in setting the scene once at Gurdjieff’s retreat. ... it will all look stunning on
screen and stand out from other period stories." Screencraft, Feedback, 2021. Score: 7-8/10
It is the middle of the night, the streets are empty.  The hotel facade of the ‘Select Hotel’ glimmers in the lamplight.  All the windows are dark except for one.  There is a light in a room on the third floor.
Ida helps a weak KM up the spiral staircase.  Her oriental shawl falls off, floating down the middle of the stairs. ‘My spirit is nearly dead.’
She sits alone in a gravel pit where pitiful statues loom above her.  A sparrow lands on her seat. ‘Did you know it is Nietzsche’s birthday today?’
‘My life is a damnable montage.  An insufferably slow one, without any flow or whole.’
‘I must tell you about the bees – we shall have bees.’
Bridget walks over to the barn door window to look out. ‘Why does one live so far away from all these things?’
SALZMANN ‘Today ‘sit’, tomorrow Shakespeare! I am very hopeful!’
KM ‘Those two seem your best hope. Not sure about Stripey there… He seems to have quite the rebellious spirit.’
SALZMANN ‘Dont be so quick to judge! She is just jealous. Adriana is devoted to me.’