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- 3.12.2012 11:15 -

Animals for Slaughter and People under Control

We offer a selection of the best documents of the appraised documentarist and producer Nikolaus Geyrhalter

Scenes from the life of animals in mass-production shown in the awarded document by Nikolaus Geyrhalter entitled Our Daily Bread (Special Mention at the Ji.hlava IDFF) represent one of the most powerful visual depictions of the food-processing industry. The director alternates between sequences of shots of machines in operation with images of workers during breaks captured alone and without words which would, in any case, be drowned in the never-ending humming of the machines. All is clean, hygienic and synchronized, including the slaughters of mass-produced animals.

An apparent similarity with the impersonal mass-production processes can be found in Abendland. An observation of the European continent at night shows crowds of people partying, protesting as well as impersonal crews of workers at conveyor belts, for example burning coffins in a crematorium. Besides, scenes of employees of a help line, nurses and medical staff are also observed through absolutely unbiased, cold and distant lens. The impartiality and detachment of the camera constantly merge in CCTV supervision or permanent police controls.

In his new documentary, 7915 km, Nikolaus Geyrhalter follows the route of the Dakar Rally race. He shows the ordinary world of ordinary people living along the route of the race at the moments when the track is free of vehicles. The substantially different characters portrayed in this documentary share their experience with the competitors who are passing through. Their experience is mainly reduced to the roar of motors and whirling clouds of dust. The film presents variations on the idea of the West speeding through countries which would prefer the world to slow down and pay attention to the problems their inhabitants have to cope with.

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