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Our Daily Bread
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An eye-opener! --Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
The 2001: A Space Odyssey of modern food production. --Stuart Klawans, The Nation
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Even thought there is virtually no narration in this semi-documentary, the images of how foods are produced and processed reveal a stunning revelation of what most of us are... Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by Bret McCurdy
This is a very unique view of the state of our modern food supply. Eye-opening while being contemplative and artistic. Read morePublished on January 28, 2013 by Mermama
Everything was fine with this purchase...until I wanted to return it. It was a gift and the recipient didn't want it. So, I notified Amazon and they notified the seller...twice. Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by Jackzap7
As you take that walk through the grocery store, see if you can imagine what each of these food items went through in order to be on the selves and in the coolers and freezers. Read morePublished on December 29, 2012 by Karen Bueno
An incredibly powerful movie. Who would have thought that a 90-minute movie with no dialogue or commentary would go by so quickly? Read morePublished on July 14, 2012 by Ute
I noticed that some of the reviewers of this documentary film lauded the humane and mercifully quick way the cows, pigs, and chickens were killed. Read morePublished on November 18, 2011 by Dennis Littrell
What a disappointment. From reading other reviews I thought this was going to be a much better picture of how foods are processed. Read morePublished on February 17, 2011 by Right Stuff