Our Daily Bread (2005) Poster

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7/10
This bread's hard to chew
ecko_4721 December 2006
The recent film "Fast Food Nation" imposes a fictional narrative onto the factual expose of Eric Schlosser's informative and horrifying book about (among other things) the industrialization of agriculture. The documentary "Our Daily Bread" makes no such concession to its audience's need for story, presenting virtually wordlessly scene after scene of modern food production in action.

It's a cliché at this point to note how modern consumers are alienated from their diets, making no connection between the plastic-wrapped pieces of muscle they purchase in the supermarket and the animals they were once part of. Still, Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter presents dozens of memorable and fascinating images, not all of them of the gross-out variety. In fact, there's even an abstract beauty to some of what we see, at least until we realize it's all part of a vast killing machine.

Difficult to sit through, "Our Daily Bread" is nonetheless an important record, invaluable for those with the courage to watch it.
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8/10
Our Daily Bread
MartinTeller30 December 2011
In contrast to the well-meaning but didactic and dry FOOD INC., this documentary explores the process of mass food production without preaching or judgment. Because it is entirely wordless (well, not entirely... we hear some of the workers chatting, but since it's left untranslated, I assume it's the inconsequential small talk it appears to be). While this might make it less informative, the images speak volumes about how cold and impersonal the process is. Machines invented for extremely specific animal-rendering tasks (the "chicken vacuum" is a total mindf*ck), people performing repetitive and methodical jobs, massive facilities crammed with rigidly parceled animals. The cinematography is superb, with framing that is Kubrickian in its sense of scale, depth and symmetry. The film is hypnotic and meditative, giving the viewer room to form his own opinions, to wander down different avenues of thought regarding how we produce and consume food. Geyrhalter is careful not to dehumanize the workers, no matter how inhuman the process is. We often see them hanging out, or enjoying their own meals. Don't hate the playa, hate the game. And one doesn't get the sense is Geyrhalter is merely finger-wagging. Although there are brutally disturbing images (maybe worse than any other slaughterhouse footage I've seen), there is almost an admiration for how efficient these routines are. But again, any conclusions you draw are your own. Will I change my consumption habits? Knowing me, probably not, but it certainly got me thinking about it.
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10/10
Documentary of the food industry in Europe
bobby-conn20 January 2007
The quality of the this film, how it focuses on the various aspects of large and highly advanced agricultural processes used in Europe is very interesting and seems to include a great amount of detail in the various processes that result in the meat and vegetables that are destined to show up on people's dinner tables. From feeding beef cattle to harvesting Irish potatoes we get fine quality shots that include so much information both close-up and deep shots. Most of us are so distanced from how our food is produced. Most producers I would imagine don't really want to let us in on what goes on before the products shows up in our market showcase. The candidness of the images that show the operations where the food is grown and processed is great. I bet that few food producers in the U.S would allow such filming in the establishments
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8/10
What do you want to eat today?
9acro24 February 2006
Don't watch this movie if you have bad stomach or you won't be able to eat for a while. It shows quite a bit of shocking footage of modern food processing facilities. Dehumanization of food processing is well shown by creative camera placement. Camera placement resembles Kubrick's in some scenes - scenes of machines and people moving through corridors. Some of machines and procedures shown in the movie are really shocking. Movie doesn't have any narration, only sounds that you hear are sounds of the environment. A bit of well picked music would make this movie even better. If you want to know how the food you eat comes to your table this is the movie to watch.
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8/10
Plants and animals don't grow and live anymore
european_sunshine12 July 2009
This movie didn't show me anything I didn't already know, but it's silence gave me time to think about what is shown. Certainly not a movie for impatient people or after a hard day at work. It left me with a strong feeling: That industrial farming and breeding is just that - industrial. Certainly the slaughterhouse sequences touched me most. Treatment of the animals doesn't appear cruel, but very unnatural. Efficiency and detachment rule. Plants and animals don't grow and live anymore. They are produced and harvested. What's ultimately lost is the variety of life outside the human production-sphere and the human connection to the world.
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8/10
This bread is indeed hard to digest
Amberrahman16 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Before you consider watching Unser Taglich Broth (Our Daily Bread), be aware that you may experience a loss of appetite for a couple of days that are to follow. This visual documentary (no dialog) is directed and written by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, starring Claus Hansen Petz, Arkadiusz Bydellek and Barbara Hinz. The main idea of this film is to show you how food companies are using technology in order to provide consumers with food, and workers with profit.

This documentary takes place in Europe, showing viewers the process which animals and plants go through in order to provide consumers with their meat and vegetables. Each animal is treated cold heartedly while living in cubicles with very limited space. The cows and pigs produce meat while being used for artificial insemination; cows are used to produce milk as well. The chickens are forced to produce eggs and meat. Fish is also shown in the film, where there is a huge tube that sucks fish in from the water and lays them out in a conveyor belt to be cut in to fillets.

The process of growing different crops, fruits and vegetables with the use of chemicals and pesticides is shown as well. Some of the fruits and vegetables shown in depth while in production are tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and olives.

Most of the film takes place in the farm, but there are other areas shown as well such as the mine used to gather salt. When a meal time approaches, a worker is shown eating their meal in silence. The choice to make this a silent film was a great choice in my opinion. It causes the viewer to create their own interpretations of the film. Unlike a film which consists of dialog, giving away all the answers to the viewer, This film makes the viewer expand their thinking on their own. This film does not guide the viewer to have a certain thought, instead the viewer is responsible to create their own thoughts from what they have just viewed. With no dialog at all, it causes the documentary to become less biased.

I personally thought these animals were being treated as if they were not living at all. They were treated worst than man made materials. Not once did I see any of the farmers or factory workers approach any of the living creatures with care or concern. These animals were only there for one reason; forced to eat feed which make them gain extra meat they will be slaughtered sooner or later in order to be consumed by the demanding public.

I disagreed with the aspect of how these living creatures were handled. They were treated as if they were objects. What disappoints me the most is that this not only goes on in Europe, but it is happening right now in the United States. I feel that we should be ashamed of our behavior towards these innocent plants and animals. We believe as if since we take part of the human race, we have no need to depend on others such as mother earth. Instead we seem to take everything for granted.

In my opinion the camera work is great, all the choices made while producing this film were made to produce a strong impact on the viewer. I am sure this was done to provide the viewer with a rich source of evidence. To make them realize where the food they consume daily really comes from. I mean that steak sitting on your plate has to come from somewhere doesn't it? Or did it just magically appear there?

While viewing this film I noticed that there were a few times where they showed the workers sanitizing there area before each break they took or before the day was nearly done. I felt as if they did this in order to brainwash the viewer into thinking they were doing something really good, almost as if they were doing a favor to their consumers. I mean after all, sanitation is very important when it comes to handling materials which come in contact with the food that will be consumed sooner or later. The documentary ended while showing the viewer workers sanitizing their area, using a foam which squirted out from a tube. I feel as if this decision was made in order for the viewer to have one good thought about this whole documentary…"they kept the place sanitary; at least there is one reason I don't have to feel bad about this food I am about to consume."

I can keep going on and on about this film, but it's best to go out and create your own interpretation. This film definitely causes the viewer to take a step back and rethink about their personal food ways.
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Visually Fascinating ...
Vic_max24 March 2008
The movie is a stunning visual documentary of modern day food production. There is no dialog - just visuals (with sound).

The video is taken from food production facilities in Europe. With the growth of the worldwide population, it is fascinating to see how streamlined (and a bit "freaky") food production has become. It's almost like watching factory assembly lines punching out one "widget" after another.

Sometimes it's disturbing to watch because the "widgets" are live animals or carcasses. These scenes made me really think about population expansion - it's very unsettling to think about how much this type of food production will have to be escalated to feed the growing masses.

If you are intrigued by mass production processes of basic vegetable and meat food supplies, this is a great film to see. It's a visual diary of the processes involved.
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10/10
not such an "artistic" documentary
thisidhasalreadybeen3 December 2006
if by artistic you mean concerned only with aesthetics, and beautiful camera work, and gorgeous film, and incredible color. i gotta take issue with saying that the documentary was cold and dispassionate and too concerned with art for art's sake. i would have to say not by the longest long shot. because....because the movie was equally as much about the people producing the food as it was about the production. and thats where much of the heart of the whole movie lies---you just don't notice it right away because there is no sound track, or you don't hear or understand the conversation between people. the isolation of the producers one from each other, for instance. the silence that they work in. those big ear muffs they wear. the deafening noise. the isolating self0-conscousness of being on camera, the movie maker implicating himself. (i definitely saw that a couple of times.) look at that first shot of the woman eating by herself with the mangled finger. an UNBELIEVABLY compassionate image. describing close to the entire world in thirty seconds. Or the next woman, taking her smoking break.

the voicelessness is about isolation. the workers, the animals, the act of filming. the "dumbness" of animals--their inability to speak--and that of the workers on many occasions--is what maybe the movie is all about. (and so the wordless narration is maybe an act of empathy with the animals?? I dunno for sure, but i could make a good argument i was going to write a paper.

and what about the shoeless guy in "The Dominator"?

AND... did notice how, when the ethnic workers are introduced, as opposed to the white northern working classes of Europe, when the immigrant populations are shown at work, the movie slightly changes?? The first and only shot of people at home, and talking in a group, and cooking at home (rice), are Africans. Refugees of wars, no doubt. For a long time in this film,m, I was wondering where the ethnic minorities who make up so much of Europes' working class had disappeared to. Suddenly, mid way, they show up. i don't think it's completely by accident. not completely. Then, later, the Arabic guys are shown taking there lunch break. they too, are eating and talking with each other. taking there break under a tree, close to the ground that they are harvesting from. these shots if anything rubbed me a little bit the wrong way, thinking a little bit of idealizing of the non-European "other" was going on. but the movie redeems itself on this front--or just proves me wrong--when we see a big table of white Europeans eating together. something is most definitely being said about tribalism, and about race, and consumption habits.

i could talk reams about how great this movie is--write a dissertation even like maybe Chris here--but that would totally ruin it. see the movie, its phenomenal. and disturbing..
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9/10
just great
maclupus4 June 2008
It is great. Not because of the subject or because I'm so interested in the food processing industry.(I'm really not) It is great because it ask and answer some really new things about documentary.

If not new,"different" in the best possible interpretation of the word. No talking, that means no interview or voice over. No editing tricks,just perfect efficient shots, one after the other. Forget the angry guy behind the camera or the microphone who really wants to not only show but persuade you. Forget the radio-documentary, here come the images-documentary. If you liked Depardon's documentary, if you like photography, if you are tired of Mickael Moore, if you don't think you need to be told what to think when you can just see it, there is a movie for you.

Its a lot more than a documentary about food industry as far as I'm concern, its about backing up and trying to get " a bigger picture"

MAc
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6/10
Grim, alien
roedyg6 August 2012
This might be a film aliens exploring the human food system would produce. There is no dialogue, no explanations. Everything you see is repeated ten times. There is no particular order to what you see. There is no gross animal cruelty, just a clean, clinical, efficient Germanic lack of concern for animal welfare.

The silence and monotony gives a creepy feel about even things you might not normally consider sinister, like mining fertiliser. The sheer scale made me nauseous. The flow of pig, cow and chicken carcases goes on forever without pause. The hypnotic repetition creates a horrible inevitability.

Scenes that stick out: banks of chickens like inmates "heckling" two "guards" who walk down between the rows.

A cow that knows it is about to be killed and puts up a valiant attempt to escape.

A machine for vacuuming up chickens.

A Rube Goldberg contraption for gutting fish.

A man whose job is to mount fish on a sort of hobbyhorse to prepare them for further mechanised treatment. Hour after after he performs the same little grab and twist movement.

Men picking cabbages mounting in a frame that drives them at management's rate.

African immigrants without the money to buy the vegetables they grow in a greenhouse.

Casual calm castration, debeaking, slaughter and interfering with reproduction.

We humans have a sort of compact with domestic animals. We protect them from predators, we ensure they have food, we protect their health. In return they give us milk and meat. I think we are obligated to give them lives free from cruelty, reasonably close to life in the wild. But we have reneged. We care not a whit for their well being. Everything is for human convenience. We cheated. We ripped them off.
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8/10
Wee!
Spuzzlightyear8 November 2006
I'm always a sucker for films that try to emulate Baraka or Koyaanisqatsi. Non narrative films that let the images speak for themselves. A lot of films try and fail. Sometimes the images are too boring, sometimes it's too repetitive. 'Our Daily Bread' just about nearly gets it right by exploring how the food on our table comes to be. By going all over the world, and exploring all sorts of food, the filmmakers cover a spectacular realm of food, animals, and people for the documentary. Much is spectacular. What I found, and maybe I'm just a sicko, who knows, but I found the segments regarding how animals are processed to be the most fascinating. They almost completely copied the chick harvesting from Baraka (and who could blame them!) to the, I'm sorry, totally cool way they kill pigs nowadays. FUN FOR EVERYONE! Ha ha! I loved it!
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6/10
Artistic documentary: does it work?
Chris Knipp2 October 2006
Nikolaus Geyrhalter's Our Daily Bread is more like a conceptual art piece than the usual documentary film. It consists of 92 minutes of filmed images of European food industry workers, most of them doing their jobs, and some of them having their lunches. There are no verbal guidelines provided; there is no identification of the industry or the location, no statistics or other information about the work being done. This includes chickens, cows, pigs, cattle, and fish, everything from breeding to slaughtering, as well as workers spraying crops, picking fruit and vegetables, and so on. The 35 mm. hi def images are handsome, bright, and clear, with excellent color. In a neutral sort of way, you could say they are "pretty." The result is a kind of numbing, disturbing visual wallpaper. Geyrhalter has produced an artifact as cold and as inhuman as the processes he has filmed. That's why this reads like a conceptual piece that might be shown in the room of a museum as part of an exhibition, rather than in a movie theater.

All these images are from large scale production. There are no small farmers represented. When an animal is killed, the chances are hundreds of them are being killed. Baby chicks are shunted around on conveyor belts, into boxes, sorted by hand, and sent into other conveyor belts, like inanimate objects. Cattle and pigs are shunted along in mechanical conveyors to slaughter and taken apart afterwards with machinery, while workers also repeat monotonous gestures. It isn't made clear whether it is the actions or their scale that are to be noted, and presumably objected to. (Is it bad to raise animals for food? Or at least much more wrong to do that on a huge industrial scale?) There is an obvious irony in the contrast between the worker's little sandwiches consumed staring into space and the vast quantities of future edibles they contribute to the preparation of. But actually the images here are at the raw end of food preparation. There is no cooking, canning, or bottling. And Our Daily Bread doesn't show the baking of bread, either on a small level or a large one.

An Amsterdam Film Festival award jury described these scenes in its citation as "a powerful cinematic experience! A series of shocking and indelible images...unremittingly merciless and nightmarish....A vision of Hell. Not the Hell of our theologians but one constructed by our politics, our markets and our food technologies. This is a great and important film and we are delighted to honor it with the Special Jury Award." Yes, this is a remarkable film, exhaustive and exhausting in its methods and effect and appropriate for inclusion in a film festival where work that pushes the envelope are going to be sought out. The New York Film Festival's emphasis on high artistic merit and originality justifies the inclusion of Our Daily Bread as one of its 28 official selections. However, one may wonder if a "documentary" that reads more as an art piece than as instruction can really be effective as polemic or information. And yet it would appear that polemic and information are Geyrhalter's interests here.

It's true that some documentaries "work" brilliantly without voice-over commentaries. The French To Be and to Have, which describes a year in the life of a rural schoolteacher, is deeply affecting without a word of interjected commentary. But when we are in the world of public social issues, or matters for concern and debate, it is more usual for the filmmaker to inject words into the debate. Examples of that kind of documentary are Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 or the more recent global warming film featuring Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth. Our Daily Bread doesn't contain a word of commentary. And for the English-language viewer, none of the occasional lunchtime workers' conversations is translated.

Consequently it seems that this kind of film is unlikely to reach a wide audience. But isn't reaching and influencing a wide audience just what this kind of committed film-making is about? In situations like this, Geyrhalter is right in saying that it may not matter whether the food factory is in Austria, Spain, or Poland, "or how many pigs are processed every year in the big slaughterhouse that's shown." Except that it does matter. Because it is the scale that makes the world of industrial food production and high-tech farming inhuman and inhumane and disturbing. Do you want to become a vegetarian? What we see done to plants isn't very pretty either. All these events and actions take on a different cast if seen within a small scale, done for local use.

There is no objection to the images Geyrhalter has assembled. They deserve to be seen and thought about. They are important. And this relentless presentation of them, without words and without commentary or verbal information, does leave an impression. But an example of a better treatment of this kind of subject matter for the general public is Deborah Koons Garcia's 2005 The Future of Food, which focuses on genetic manipulation and cloning and the patenting of plants and has a regular voice-over narration to tell us about the subject, as well as interviews with people whose lives have been effected by Monsanto and other corporations intervention in farming. Geyrhalter says that he and his crew did interviews, but they found that they detracted from the overall effect. We must ask what kind of effect he was trying to create, and whether documentary film-making shouldn't be focused more on informing us than on simply "affecting" us. It is important to be "affected," but we also need to know what is going on, why it is going on, and what we might do about it, other than feel depressed and numbed.
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8/10
Their daily death
Horst_In_Translation26 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Our Daily Bread" is an Austrian documentary movie from 10 years ago. The director is Nikolaus Geyrhalter and he also came up with the script together with Wolfgang Widerhofer. Both are truly prolific filmmakers and also worked together on other projects such as "Abendland". Their work here can actually be summarized pretty quickly. It is basically a making-of documentary of the food industry. There are parts about plants included and how they are processed, but the really crucial part here are the segments about cattle, which includes cows, chicken and pigs.

If you are interested in watching this, you probably have heard about "Earthlings", the American documentary that came out the very same year. There are some parallels, but there are also differences. One crucial differences is for example that Geyrhalter only included static camera shots here and also only recordings that he made himself. But the biggest difference is probably that there is no narration in this movie here. There are also no dialogs. Well.. there is some talking, but it's really irrelevant and adds nothing to the film in the sense of people being recorded during breakfast (eating meat). And there are no interviews in here. It is almost a silent movie and that is certainly not something for everybody, even if they are interested in the topic. All this is actually a reason why this documentary is so well-known, also outside German-speaking regions. You can easily watch this without being able to speak a single word German. But be ready to see some heartbreaking action if you feel with animals.

I personally am a vegetarian and if I wasn't one already, I'd probably be one after watching this movie. I also wonder how people are able to work in professions such as the ones depicted in here. The entire cast list are people who work on crop fields or slaughterhouses. They must not only do not be religious at all, but also perceive these creatures as things in order to be able to deal with what they are doing on a daily basis. I could never do that. Thank God I don't have to. Excellent documentary. One of the best of the year.
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9/10
a visual and philosophical treat
johan_daisne24 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The film has no soundtrack, no subtitles, just the images and that's exactly what it is all about. Our daily bread, what we literally need every day, our every day food, and how is it grown and produced. Sometimes the view is panoramic and the action goes from left to right (or the other way) on screen. Sometimes the view is detailed, often a mechanografic beauty. And that's what is (or should be) shocking us, us as a vieuwer, us as a human being consuming this daily bread. We are witness to the deconstruction of nature into composites, where all ties with the natural are lost. It should wake us up to think about how our daily bread is grown, but on the other hand : the mecanography of the produce of it, is carefully disguised by all publicity about how healthy and delicious and jummy all the things are that we eat and drink...
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8/10
The Source
Insane_Man10 April 2021
When I was watching this, I wished it may never end. It is because I was enjoying the show a lot. No commentary show with an almost detail view of the source of our food. The factories, the farms, the gardens, the fields, the workers, their transport, their daily meals, their habits during the work and most of all, the unseen views. Recommended for everyone. Mind it, it's violent in some scenes towards the end.
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10/10
Magnificent
EdgarST9 March 2017
"Our Daily Bread" is definitely not for the jaded -old or young- viewers who take everything for granted, including the meal in front of their noses. An amazing display of technology for the benefit of the few, its cold, meticulous, detached approach to European food industries in long takes and in unusual environments, above or under ground, has an impressive effect: for some it means nausea, for others awareness of the ill distribution of the wealths of the world, that in the end belong to you and I. A remarkable, sober work, that avoids the traps of other documentary artists, as Michael Moore's omnipresence, Philip Glass' redundant notes or Werner Herzog's pseudo-guru comments.
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7/10
Fascinating
framptonhollis24 August 2015
It is a non-verbal documentary, no narration, no interviews, and very few clear spoken words. What is this film all about? It is a fascinating look at the meat industry, and shows the viewer step by step the process that goes into making the foods that you love.

The shocking imagery of the treatment of chicks, cows, and (the most shocking part, in my opinion) pigs, will disturb almost any viewer, and may even make some consider becoming a vegetarian/vegans! The film, in my opinion, was actually a bit more bleak than disturbing. Yes, a lot of the imagery IS very disturbing, however, a lot of the film is just watching the humans doing their work. You can tell that these humans are sick of doing this job day after day, and have just lost all caring whatsoever.

The final product isn't the most fun film I've ever seen, but it certainly is a great documentary film.
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8/10
Enthralling filmmaking
The_Biscuit10119 January 2012
Probably the most unusual film I've ever seen. Not a word is spoken to the viewer throughout the film, via neither interview nor voice-over. A great way to look at such an important subject; without a voice-over telling you what to believe and trying to influence you.

The subject is food; the whole process of modern food production. I found it enthralling as without any voice-over to guide you through the film you're really left to explore and understand for yourself what is happening. The footage is not for the squeamish nor children exactly, but undeniably takes an inside look at an issue to which we are all involved. The modern, efficient, sanitised, stainless-steel production process is on display; from giant agricultural projects to livestock. Farming in the 21st century is quite an experience, an experience that we all rely on.

I highly recommend this for anyone looking at different methods of documentary making, whilst it wouldn't be suitable for all subjects; it is an inspiration in this case.
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6/10
Needs some subtitles but otherwise sobering viewing
conannz28 July 2006
This was a very scary film made even more disconcerting as there is no narration or dialogue. Most of the film takes place in Europe with German, Dutch and other language signs appearing at some points and it is possible that some viewers will read some of that information but that is lost to English viewers.

It is not always clear what you are looking at and so a few subtitles would help. This doesn't mean that a narrator is required just some description for example there appears to be a salt mine in one place but hard to know for sure.

I saw this film in NZ which prides itself on being clean and green but we are not so different and while the really intensive harvest techniques are not so extreme it is sobering to think about the trends represented in the film.
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8/10
Disturbing and excellent film
dillon_jenn6 March 2010
This film is great if you really need that last kick to get you to go vegetarian and organic. The way the animals are treated is sad, if you are at all empathic. Watching vegetables get sprayed with tons of herbicides will probably make you a little queasy too. And, since so much food is now GMO, it makes you wonder exactly what we are ingesting. The silence of the film allows you to really ponder what has happened to our food production. The fact that there is so much stainless steel and so little humanity in our food production begins to bother you. Doesn't the human element matter? In Buddhism and Native American cultures it is believed that the way your food is processed affects how it is assimilated in your body. In other words, if your mother makes you a meal, and wishes for that food to nourish you, then the belief is that it is better for you than if someone who does not like you makes your meal. Considering that the world is just an illusion of states of energy that mostly seem solid, it does seem feasible that the energy of love from your mother (or any other human who might care) might be preferable than the energy of machines preparing your food. Also, what really struck me as I watched this was that the animals were treated horribly, there were thousands of them going down these conveyor belts and being sucked up by vacuums. As humans continue to overpopulate the earth it seems that the big companies will increasingly treat humans in the same manner, as animals of little consequence.
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The efficiency is mind-boggling and stomach-turning
DeeNine-218 November 2011
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. Nonetheless the image of the shudder of the cows after the lethal stun gun is pressed to their foreheads lingers horrifically.

Some reviewers thought film was funny. And there is a thread at IMDb that asks which part of the film did you find the most disgusting.

I also note that the accolades handed out for what might be called German efficiency in the way agribusiness is able to streamline the production process from conception to the trucks headed for the autobahn. Yet I found it rather disgusting to see a long, bloody slit on the side of a cow, a man's bloody hands reaching in and pulling out a new born calf in a kind of Caesarian section for the hoofed set. I presume the cow was anesthetized but somehow remained standing.

And I realize that without these amazing innovations in animal husbandry and slaughtering techniques most people even in Europe and America would find the price of meat a bit of a strain on their budgets.

I think what is bothering me is what Sir Martin Rees in another context referred to as "the yuck factor." I think it was in reference to human cloning. At any rate all the chickens, pigs and cows seen being nicely euthanized, bleed, skinned, butchered and sent to market, are increasingly cookie-cuttered so that they are not far from being clones themselves. (Maybe some of them are.) At any rate being clones would make it all the easier for the carcasses to fit conveniently into the apparatuses designed for what might be called an efficient disassembly line.

One more thing about the animals: what they are is what we are: slabs of meat. There is no escape from that conclusion is part of the message of this extraordinary film which is without dialogue, without voice-over, without narration. Director Nikolaus Geyrhalter instead gives us long visual takes and background sounds on what most of us have never seen before: industrial agriculture as it is practiced in the Western world today.

Okay, now to the food that grows in the soil or just in water and beds of plastic foam. We see vast greenhouses where yellow peppers and red tomatoes thrive as they grow toward the light on vertical poles and strings, and where bored persons tread the aisles picking the ripe vegetables and putting them into boxes.

I cannot find fault with such enterprises; there is no yuck factor to experience. Geyrhalter holds the camera on the aisles and on the fields where grain, potatoes and other foods are harvested with machines of steel driven by men with computers at their sides in air conditioned cabs. The camera lingers to emphasize the vastness of the venture, and then we see the workers at their lunch as though unaware that they are being filmed. We note that they eat, and are reminded that eating is what this film is all about.

In Vedanta it is said that we humans occupy a realm that can be called "the food sheath" where we are both the eater and the eaten.

No, this grandiose efficiency does not offend somehow. What I don't like about it is how such monocultures require pesticides, weed killers and artificial fertilizers. I especially don't like the hormones and antibiotics fed to the animals. Again, however, without such artificialities we could not feed a world with seven billion souls.

Which brings me to my point: it doesn't have to be this way. If we had fewer human beings on the planet (say less than a billion) and encouraged a significant number of them to go into sustainable, truly humane and natural farming, we would not have to have industrial agriculture. And I want to add that something like one-third of the people on this planet live in poverty. There are many reasons for this, and there is hope that those numbers will decline as wealth becomes more equitably distributed. So many people living in poverty cheapens humanity. If we had fewer people on the planet relative to the planet's riches, each individual would be more valuable and less subject to manipulation by the powers that be. The worth of humanity on a per capita basis would increase. With billions living in poverty, humans are simply worth less and can be made very nearly expendable by those with the power and money.

See this powerful film at your own risk. Vegans will love it but be unable to watch it. Carnivores may lick their chops, and most people will sit before the screen as I was, spellbound.
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1/10
incredibly boring!!!
wildpeace101 March 2009
I am totally amazed how much praise this movie is getting.I rented the DVD thinking it would be something like the monsanto documentary or would reveal shocking facts about the food industry either about chemicals, politics or bad animal treatment.

All you got here is a guy who got permission to film some people working in the food industry and who either doesn't seem to have an opinion or had to avoid any opinions to have the permission to film in those industries.

No narration,no interviews with the workers, or music(as far as i can tell),the movie seems to have been made to be sold internationally at the least possible cost just to make a buck.

You can't even access the interview with the director without a computer!

The movie feels incomplete like if they suddenly ran out of money and couldn't add a narration! I was so boring,i had to fast forward most of it. A must to avoid DVD!
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4/10
mince
magnuslhad13 May 2015
On a mission to show us things we do not normally see, Our Daily Bread is a meditative, at times darkly poetic look at industrial food production. The film eschews narration, commentary, titles and critical reflection by participants. It does not quite go so far as to say 'make up your own mind', as the narrative is constructed very deliberately by camera placement, framing, and editing. Very often, we are riding in the cockpit of the combine harvesters and crop sprayers - the film constantly reminds us that we are not standing outside, but very much part of the machine. But the film is less finger-wagging than a conversation starter. Some people will never touch another sausage again. Others will see the bland inevitability of mechanised solutions to feeding an over-populated planet. The abattoir scenes work well, conveying a strange other-worldliness, neither humanising nor demonising the lives before us, be they human or animal. The crop tending scenes and harvesting work less well. A 70-second shot of a yellow field of indeterminable plants suddenly dusted by a plane is an example of lugubrious shot flow that severely tests the patience. The film is relentless in establishing its detachment, its candour, and its anti-documentary credentials with regard to the subject, but ironically ends up proving itself somewhat smug and bourgeois in its rigidity. Nice camera-work, but a misfiring storytelling process.
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3/10
Next time I can't sleep I know where to get help
pekka-nyrhinen9 March 2012
It never ceases to amaze me how much hot air one bloated self-proclaimed movie expert can hold.

Not to step on anyone's toes, but did you see the same film I saw? Incredible color? Stunning scenery? Great sound? ...What? It was all gray, all the time. Sound was a mixed bag of silence and mechanical ambient noise.

The message was... Aren't you glad you chose education over a quick buck? Or so I think, and yes I am.

It's hard to grade a movie like this. First of all, I slept through most of it. Second of all, I find it hard to feel sympathy for animals, who would do the exact same thing to me if they could operate heavy machinery. Third, I like Steven Seagal movies, which probably voids any opinion I have towards any movie, ever.

But for god's sakes.. it was BORING. Nothing happened. It showed nothing new. It was a bunch of random people, working their random day jobs. I'll be eating my daily dose of meat today, just like every other day, and enjoy the taste to the fullest.

And I will also graduate from university, so I will never have to work a job like that.. and I got a few winks of sleep, too, so I guess the movie did achieve something after all. Guess the joke's on me.
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