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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hi-tech grub
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...
Published on 27 Aug 2009 by Robin Benson

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars no music or audio, yet strangely addictive
I didnt read the blurb before buying, and when watching it took me 20 minutes to realise that the commentary was never going to start.

The footage is not a shocking documentary, it is just how things are done ... it's not made to look worse than it is. If this was shown before everyone went to the supermarket each week, then buying habits for those that can...
Published on 21 July 2010 by kiwi


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hi-tech grub, 27 Aug 2009
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (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 at the farm level 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. This usually refers to animal slaughter but it is done in a simple straightforward way with machinery doing most of the work and rather intriguingly everything shown involving animals is done at a reasonable speed in the factories shown.

The movie concentrates on primary food production and not the industrial creation of processed food...maybe that's Geyrhalter's next assignment. Overall a very impressive and visually remarkable look at the subject and one of those documentaries that is certainly worth seeing more than once.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food Technopoly, 27 Aug 2010
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
This well-wrought documentary, set in Europe, makes visible the shocking hugeness of contemporary factory farms. Despite the title, the film is not explicitly about "our daily bread". It is about the primary production of enormous quantities of food in factories, machine-dominated factories that produce everything including olives, salt, eggs, unborn calves for veal, fish-flesh, and hydroponic vegetables.

I found the absence of musical soundtrack and authorial comment a relief, and the sounds emanating from the factory buildings, fields, glasshouses, machines, animal and bird subjects, immensely telling.On occasions the silence of the animals was chilling. This is the farming of Technopoly where machines farm vast monocultures, and hitherto unimaginable cruelties are practised on sentient beings, including the humans who operate the factories with their press-buttons, de-beakers, levers, insemination probes and buckets, gigantic harvesters, sharp knives, electric prods and pressure cleaners. At the end of each episode is a human touch in the showing of the workers from the featured production areas taking a meal-break or "smoko", time off (or out) from the rapid tempo of soul-less machinery that governs their lives.

The horror of factory farming casts a grim shadow on our lives, and on our presumption that the world can endlessly supply more and more of our growing food demands at little cost. This film shows us how our prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread" is answered by Technopoly, and opens our eyes to the trespasses we might commit with each act of food consumption.

Those who like their food "more", "lots", "fast","efficient", would have no quibbles about the farming practices shown in the film. Those of us who sense that factory farming erodes the soul of the world might view the film as the beginning of a conversation about changing our food production and consumption practices to those that emphasise gentle reciprocity with Earth and with other sentient beings. Such a conversation would be deepened and enriched by a reading of Vandana Shiva's brilliant "Soil Not Oil. Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis" (2008).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating food production, 15 April 2010
By 
C. A. Hamps "Ham Chrisps" (Wimbledon, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
This award winning documentary is strangely mesmerising and totally fascinating. But there is some scenes which are not for the squeamish. But if you want to see how our mass produced food is created then this is for you.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic, Sublime....., 14 Jun 2009
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
Utterly bewitching film. The lack of narration only adds to the overall impact. Poses big questions for all of us, and our relationship with the natural world. This is the kind of film that can really change your thinking, and certainly a film that lives on in the memory. Watch it and weep.....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The efficiency is mind-boggling and stomach-turning, 19 Nov 2011
By 
Dennis Littrell (SoCal/NorCal/Maui) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
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 voiceover, 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars no music or audio, yet strangely addictive, 21 July 2010
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
I didnt read the blurb before buying, and when watching it took me 20 minutes to realise that the commentary was never going to start.

The footage is not a shocking documentary, it is just how things are done ... it's not made to look worse than it is. If this was shown before everyone went to the supermarket each week, then buying habits for those that can afford it, would massively change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hi-tech grub, 8 May 2009
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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 production 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 mechanisation 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; 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. This usually refers to animal slaughter but it is done in a simple straightforward way with machinery doing most of the work and rather intriguingly everything shown involving animals is done at a reasonable speed in these factories.

The movie concentrates on primary food production and not the industrial production of processed food...maybe that's Geyrhalter's next assignment. Overall a very impressive and visually remarkable look at the subject and one of those documentaries that is certainly worth seeing more than once.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars minimally mesmerising, 10 Dec 2008
By 
B. Storan "mancroft" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
A Beautifully shot and edited film that lays bare everything about the food industry without the need for narrative or special effects.

Thought provoking without using too many disgusting moments. Because of the lack of dubbing, you empathise more with the animals and workers alike in these food industries.

A must for anybody who wants to fly a very subtle vegetarian or organic food flag.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, 23 Oct 2008
This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
It's unbelievable that there is no review posted, as yet, for this film.
Whether you are a dedicated carnivore, vegetarian, organic-food devotee or bargain-basement shopper, you should watch this film, detailing the industrialisation of modern food production.

The images, totally without audio commentary of any kind, are alternately shocking, moving, challenging, fascinating and informative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The robots have taken over, 8 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Our Daily Bread [DVD] (DVD)
No voices needed, just the surreal soundscape of the bizzare food industry. Absolutley loved this film but couldn't help wondering where and when the world went wrong. From serene images to brutal killings. If you don't go veggie or vegan and start buying local produce after watching this, then you are part of the problem and not the solution.
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Our Daily Bread [DVD]
Our Daily Bread [DVD] by Nikolaus Geyrhalter (DVD - 2008)
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