In the tradition of such acclaimed cinéma direct
works as Jean Eustache
's Le Cochon
(1970) and Frederick Wiseman's Meat
(1976) comes Nikolaus Geyrhalter's 92-minute documentary Our Daily Bread
-- an ironic, detached cinematic glimpse of how the food we eat on a daily basis is picked, killed, mechanically processed, and packaged for human consumption. Geyrhalter resists having an overtly political or muckraking agenda; instead, his sequence of images acts as an extended visual meditation, a plunge into the poetic mundanity of everyday existence. By singling out processes that we would otherwise take for granted or overlook, Geyrhalter calls our attention to the more absurd and surreal aspects of the food chain -- with the graceful and rhythmic, yet thoroughly strange and haunting, processes of automatization in the foreground.