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Our Daily Bread

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome to the world of industrial food production and high-tech farming. To the rhythm of conveyor belts and immense machines, the film looks without commenting in the places where food is produced: monumental spaces, surreal landscapes and bizarre sounds a cool, industrial environment which leaves little space for individualism. People, animals, crops and machines play a supporting role in the logistics of this system which provides our society s standard of living. OUR DAILY BREAD is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn't always easy to digest and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas.

Review

One of the year's [10] best! A Must-see! Its formal elegance, moral underpinning and intellectually stimulating point of view make it essential. Mr. Geyrhalter wants us not only to look at the world we have made with care and consideration, but also contemplate a reality newly visible that is all too easy to ignore and just as impossible to look away from. --Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

An eye-opener! --Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

The 2001: A Space Odyssey of modern food production. --Stuart Klawans, The Nation

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Icarus Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001N3R8WG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,547 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Our Daily Bread" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I found this a highly unusual and visually fascinating documentary about primary food production, both animal and vegetable. The lack of any sort of commentary initially annoyed me because so much of what is shown raises the question: what's going on here but after a while I found I was settling down to the rhythm of the editing. The way director Geyrhalter places the camera and then just lets it roll will grow on you. Even where there is some fast machinery the shot is invariably a static one of the equipment.

The documentary looks at fruit and vegetable production and collection, animal husbandry of chickens, cows, pigs and nicely I thought, fish farming plus a visit to a salt mine. The most eye opening thing to me was the amount of mechanization involved in food production though it seemed that the equipment had been designed to work most efficiently when the fruit, animals or fish were standard sizes. Despite the huge investment in equipment on these European farms (or plants) it was still cost effective to employ shift-workers.

There are some quirky scenes: several of workers having a break, eating or having a cigarette (these were just long static shots looking at the person); spraying everything in a slaughter house with some sort of foam (a detergent maybe) digging small holes in mounts on a field and either planting or collecting something. I would have thought an occasional black strip across the bottom of the screen with a white caption would not have hurt the integrity of the movie and helped the viewer.

Despite what others might say I found nothing shocking in the movie.
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Format: DVD
Just like the previous review, I am shocked to find that there is only one review for this incredible film. The fact that there is no voice over makes this film that much more powerful. One of the most significant films I watched this year. Watch this film- it will be 1.5hrs you spent meaningfully. It opened my eyes. I am deeply grateful to the filmmakers.
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Format: DVD
This is a beautiful and profoundly disturbing documentary. That it manages to be both at the same time is a paradox. I'll explain a bit more how.

Like the movie Manufactured Landscapes by Edward Burtynsky, "Our Daily Bread" takes a look at aspects of our world that are not always readily accessible or known to most citizens of western countries. With a steady decline of agricultural and industrial workers over the years, most of us have little idea of what it takes to produce what we consume. This is certainly true for our food, the topic of this movie. Again, like Manufactured Landscapes, this documentary is "only" a sequence of very well composed and lit shots, without interviews or voice over. This may disturb or annoy some. I find this to be an extremely effective approach, as it makes one confront more directly ones own feelings and in the end gives more impact to the images.

While the author certainly has an agenda, I don't think it's an extremist one. He does not try to denounce the difficulty of working in the meatpacking industry or attempt to portray what is happening to the animals that will be processed as particularly horrible. His aesthetics are cold and distant, even maybe "scientist". Everyone will need to make up one's mind. But the way he frames most of his shots using highly symmetrical or geometrical compositions certainly contributes to the creation of a eery feeling of "elsewhere". That's the artistic and thematic bias of the movie: to show us that what lands on our plates comes from places we don't know about and don't think about.

One important point to note is that we typically don't get to see the end processing of the food products.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was shocked when I looked up this movie and didn't see any reviews. I saw this last year and was just mesmerized as I watched it. In many places, it is silent and yet the images it creates are powerful and perplexing. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone, it makes a great companion to Schlosser's Fast Food Nation or SuperSize Me.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Have you ever wondered how chickens are "being produced", as if they were "animal machines" ? Or how cows are being milked today ? Or what kind of outfit people have to wear when they spray our tomatoes with those "harmless" - if we may believe the FDA - pesticides ?

Nikolaus Geyrhalter comments on his film : "I wanted to collect and make accessible images from this branch, this world in as objective a manner as possible. What makes it fascinating are the machines and the sense of what's doable, the human spirit of invention and organization, even at close quarters with horror and insensitivity. Plants and animals are treated just like any other goods, and smooth functioning is extremely important. The most important thing is how the animals can be born, raised and held as efficiently and inexpensively as possible, how to treat them so they're as fresh and undamaged as possible when they arrive at the slaughterhouse, and that the levels of medications and stress hormones in the meat are below the legal limits. No one thinks about whether they're happy."

Watch this DVD and be amazed, or horrified ! There are no interviews, no music either. You are left alone with your thoughts.

If you like what you see, the smooth functioning of the machines and the lack of happiness of our "animal machines", continue to enjoy your hamburger at McDonald's.

If you don't like it, think of how farming was done less than a century before. Farmer John Peterson says : "It used to be that everyone in this country had a connection to farms, but now most of these farms have gone". I think we should reestablish this connection. Peterson also uses a certain level of mechanization, but it doesn't go berserk.
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