Our Daily Bread

Cool, spare and without either the voice overs or talking-head interviews that characterize most documentaries, German filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter's film about mass food production allows images to speak for themselves. And what they say is more horrifying than anything in FAST FOOD NATION (2006). Filmed in various European countries, Geyrhalter's dispassionate...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Cool, spare and without either the voice overs or talking-head interviews that characterize most documentaries, German filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter's film about mass food production allows images to speak for themselves. And what they say is more horrifying than anything in FAST FOOD NATION (2006). Filmed in various European countries, Geyrhalter's dispassionate eye affords equal weight to slaughterhouses, hens lined up in cruelly small cages and vast, hangar-like greenhouses; the effect is to make mechanized harvesting almost as disturbing as the butchering of animals. Cattle, fish, fowl and vegetables: They're all grist for the industrial food chain, pure product rather than living things. The processes are so sterile and non-human — workers, often masked in sterile suits, seen more like androids than people, even when they're caught eating lunch or taking a coffee break — that the film almost looks like a work of science fiction rather than reportage. Geyrhalter has said in interviews that the various agricultural companies granted him access out of pride in their scrupulously clean workplaces and sophisticated machinery, but the overlal effect is chillingly dehumanized and alienated from nature. (In German and Arabic)

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  • Released: 2006
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Cool, spare and without either the voice overs or talking-head interviews that characterize most documentaries, German filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter's film about mass food production allows images to speak for themselves. And what they say is more horrifyi… (more)

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