DVD365.net
Our Daily Bread (2005) artwork

Our Daily Bread (2005)

23rd September 2008

Welcome to the daily grind of the worldwide industrial production of food and high-tech farming. It's not a place for the squeamish, so be prepared to squirm.
Chickens, Cows, Pigs, Plants and Vegetables
Television/Series
2
1 Hour 32 Minutes

When you pick up your chicken or cheese sandwich, do you ever consider where the contents came from and how much you depend on something in order to survive and grow fat and be unhealthy? Well, welcome our world of industrial food production and high-tech farming. To the rhythm of conveyor belts and immense machines, the film looks into the places where food is produced in Germany and Austria. With monumental spaces, surreal landscapes and bizarre sounds, a cool and industrial environment leaves little space for individualism and its unwavering goal of the mass production of food for an exponentially increasing number of hungry mouths.

People, animals, crops and machines all play a supporting role in the logistics of this system which provides our society's standard of living - a standard that many other countries desperately aspire, and to which the current price increases of our staple foods is a consequence of. There is no voiceover or music, just the sound and rhythms of conveyor belts, machinery and animals. The stunning visuals which range from absorbing and lovely to horrifying speak for themselves as indictments of the industry and its cruelty to both land and animals.

Ordinarily, we'd refuse to review "pre-release" material where the disc is a version that wouldn't be available commercially to the consumer. However, even though the version reviewed here has a rather large time code at the bottom of the screen, the film itself is far too compelling to ignore. Given that this is not the final product the image quality reviewed here may not be the finished article (although I'd be surprised if this was the case), and since Our Daily Bread is filmed with numerous hand held cameras of varying quality in some rather intense and exposed areas, the image quality, although fairly grainy at times, is more than satisfactory - after all, this is no Hollywood blockbuster.

The 192 Kbps Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is nothing special, but then again, what else would you be expecting from a documentary film such as this? Whilst you can discard your expensive surround system for the duration, there's still plenty of animal and machinery noises to be heard. In fact, turn it up too loud and your neighbours will probably think you've turned your house into a farm.

As this is a preview disc it's hard to know whether the commercial version of the disc will launch straight into the programme as it does here. But, with no menu whatsoever, subtitles (it hardly needs them!) or any extras, when it comes to the value of the package it falls rather flat on its face. Still, don't let that put you off exploring this title further.

As soon as the film started I was reminded of the remarkable images from Godfrey Reggio's superb series of films Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi. Needless to say, the images here are just as compelling and, whilst Reggio opted to accompany his images with music, Our Daily Bread leaves the music to the clunking sounds of machinery and the grunts, chirps and squeals of animals (some of them distressing). Let's just say that this film is not for the squeamish or, possibly, vegetarians (although, if you're planning on becoming a vegetarian then this film could well be the catalyst you need to help push you over the edge.

Whilst there's no doubting the ultimate efficiency of man's desire to produce food, some of the images are rather amusing. From the poor men trying to encourage a bull to mate and the unfortunate (probably trainee!) chap trying to capture some semen from a rather aroused bull in a jar, there's no escaping the need for man's interaction in some of the more undesirable activities. However, the "funniest" image was of a conveyor belt full of chirping baby chicks being thrown about and fired out of tubes in a manner that can only be described as being like firing tennis balls out of a launcher. I'm not sure quite what all of this madness was trying to achieve, but I guess a machine was trying to weigh and grade the chicks prior to them being sent off to the hen houses.

Whilst picking a tomato in massive greenhouses, or using machinery to manically shake an olive tree, is not the most appealing of careers, there's always that tricky area of meat production (how some of the staff can sleep at night without suffering nightmares is beyond me!). At the beginning, we see cute little piglets and those ping-pong chicks, but they are ultimately destined for our dining table and we see it all in graphic detail - and it's not a pretty sight.

Our now fully grown chickens are sucked up by giant vacuum cleaners and fed into crates for their final journey, pigs arrive by train and then wander into the processing factory before being dispatched, their chests cut open and their innards spilling out to be collected by another machine, salmon are collected and gutted in an amazingly efficient production line whilst, saving the "best" for last, we see cattle dispatched with a bolt to the head before being hung up and gutted (if you ever wanted to know how much blood there is in a cow then now's your chance to find out!). It's certainly not family viewing, and the images are not for the faint hearted - but, as I said at the beginning of the review, if you ever wanted to know where your food came from then Our Daily Bread is not scared in giving you the answers.

Ordinarily, I would be very disappointed by any disc that didn't provide any extras. However, in the case of Our Daily Bread, its images speak more than any featurette or trailer could ever provide. The reviews in the press and film magazines were full of praise (and shock!) plus it walked away with handfuls of awards from numerous international film festivals, so whilst it may not be a worthwhile for multiple views (unless you're a bit of a sadist!) it is recommended rental material. However, just make sure little Johnny is tucked up in bed.

  • None
Goats artwork

Goats

DVD10/04/2014

As Ellis prepares to leave Tucson for his freshman year at an East Coast prep school, he also faces separating from his flaky, new age mother and the only real father he has ever known: Goat Man.
Homeland artwork

Homeland

DVD11/09/2014

Braquo artwork

Braquo

BD10/12/2016

Gomorrah artwork

Gomorrah

DVD19/07/2016

Sightseers artwork

Sightseers

BD20/09/2014

Penthouse North artwork

Penthouse North

BD04/02/2014

Doc Martin artwork

Doc Martin

DVD20/10/2017

Martin Clunes returns as Britain's favourite curmudgeonly medic in a brand new, hugely anticipated 8th series of the immensely popular, long running hit drama Doc Martin, released on DVD 13th November 2017 ...
Rise Of The Footsoldier 3 artwork
The Emoji Movie artwork

The Emoji Movie

DVDBD4K-UHD19/10/2017

Black Lake artwork

Black Lake

DVD19/10/2017

Bad Santa 2 artwork

Bad Santa 2

DVDBD19/10/2017

Victoria artwork

Victoria

DVDBD19/10/2017

Despicable Me 3

News11/10/2017

Featuring the voice talents of Steve Carell, Trey Parker and Kristen Wiig, Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith and Agnes - and the Minions - are back in in Despicable Me 3, released on DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray ...

Kicking and Screaming

Review21/11/2005

A life long victim of his fathers competitive nature, Phil Weston starts to coach a rival kids soccer team when his father trades his own son to a rival team. Sounds like a vital nail biting head to ...

The Big Sick

Features15/09/2017

Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail, who connects with grad student Emily after one of ...
"Sometimes, levity is an irresistible temptation."
Youth (2015)

Designated Survivor

DVD19/10/2017111

Riviera

DVDBD19/10/2017106

The Mummy

DVDBD3D-BD4K-UHD19/10/2017104

Blade Runner

4K-UHD19/10/2017103

Broken City

DVDBDNOTES18/10/20173415

Fast Girls

DVDBDNOTES18/10/20171527

The Ghost

DVDBDNOTES12/10/20171413

Escape Plan

DVDBDNOTES13/10/20171361

Racing Stripes

DVD13/10/20172209

Austin Powers

DVD09/10/20171289

The Simpsons

DVD09/10/2017773

#Stella Series 6 available #DVD 6th November by @2entertainDVD
DVD365.net

Getting Any?

BD05/10/2017

Monster Island

DVD18/09/2017

The Crown

DVDBD22/08/2017

W1A: Series 3

DVD04/10/2017