OUR DAILY BREAD

NGF Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion

In sealed rooms, as sterile as computer-processor factories, chicks hatch while being closely monitored. A huge hose sucks salmon out of a fjord. Metal teeth chomp up fields of sunflowers which have withered at just the right time thanks to chemicals. Chickens are cut up and pigs are gutted in seconds, though cows take a little longer. Welcome to the world of high-tech agriculture and the industrial production of food.

Our Daily Bread is an award-winning documentary that shows the places where food is produced in Europe: surreal landscapes plasticised and optimised for tractors and agricultural machinery, sterile rooms in cool industrial buildings designed to ensure logistic efficiency, and machines that require uniform materials for smooth processing. What might look like something from the world of science fiction is reality. Our food is produced in spectacular spaces which are seldom seen.

Precisely framed continuous tracking shots take on the system’s efficiency and put it on display. Dispensing with commentary and explanatory interviews allows the viewer to form their own ideas about what they’re watching, as the film unfolds with just the whirring, clattering, booming, slurping, and hydraulic breathing of the machines as a soundtrack — only the screeching of chickens is louder.

Our Daily Bread is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn’t always easy to digest — and in which we all take part.

PROFILE

Nikolaus Geyrhalter is an Austrian filmmaker who has directed, produced, written, and worked as cinematographer for numerous documentaries. He has won awards for Das Jahr nach Dayton (1997), Pripyat (1999), Elsewhere (2001), and Our Daily Bread (2005).

Grow House collects a number of projects which propose to bring agriculture out of the fields at the periphery of town and into the centre of our houses, cities and factories.