We take for granted all the time, hard work, and even pain that has gone into the creation, packaging, and delivery of the food we eat. There's a story behind every apple or orange, chicken, or salmon we savor. Austrian filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter has made a thought-provoking documentary about our daily bread that features no voiceover or interviews. He gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the agricultural industry across Europe using only sound and images.
High tech farming is a big business that uses the latest machinery and pesticides in gigantic spaces. But, in most cases, laborers still have to do the back-breaking work of picking the crops. The men and women who work in the slaughterhouses for pigs, cows, and chickens have very repetitive and difficult jobs on assembly lines sorting body parts. In one scene, a person walks through a cavernous enclosure housing chickens that looks like it goes on for miles.
At lunchtime, the filmmaker sits us down with the workers who are trying to take a break from their arduous labors. But we cannot get out of our minds the massive nature of all this work just to provide us with vegetables, fruits, meats, and salt. Geyrhalter does not make any value judgments on the companies involved in this profitable enterprise, the cruel treatment of animals, or the popularity of organic foods. Each viewer can make his or her own evaluation of the material presented in the images and sounds of Our Daily Bread.