Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
February 8th through the 19th I was in Berlin to see my girlfriend, Anneli and the Berlin Film Festival, Berlinale. We saw a few films and went to a few talent campus panels and a couple red carpet event showings. Sidebar: saw Meryl Streep. She was there to accept a Golden Bear lifetime achievement award and the festival throughout the week showed in homage a number of her past films along with her present one, Iron Lady.
Anyway, one of the films I was really looking forward to seeing was a film called Canned Dreams. What I read about it in the program was that is was about a can of food and it’s journey to the grocery store shelf. It sounded interesting in that is was going to talk to the people across Europe with involvement somehow of this can of food. Hence I guess, the “dreams” aspect-meaning the dreams of those people. What it was however was a horror film with no point of view except to make you not only never want to eat meat again but never want to eat food again, period.
Anneli and I were trapped in the middle and felt we couldn’t leave although I would say that 60% of the time I was looking at the floor instead of the screen and so was she. I was infuriated at the filmmaker for tricking us. What a piece of of schlock work trying to pass itself off as important and informative.
The can was in the end a can of ravioli. 9 countries across Europe had involvement in this process. They talked to people at each plant but only if they had the saddest story known to mankind. There were about 3 plants they visited where they showed only sad looking people but didn’t talk to them which I assumed was because their story didn’t pass the suicide checklist.
75% of the film was about the pork and beef that went into the ravioli. And we were treated to (I assume but I didn’t actually watch the scenes) watching the pigs we watched being born in the beginning of the film being murdered by someone with a really super sad life story narrating over the kills scenes. I know they were bad and gross by the gasps from the audience and the screams from the animals and the horror film musical accompaniment. The beef slaughter scenes were even worse. And they lasted forever. A few people did leave and I was jealous.
I loved “Food Inc” and that movie changed my life. I learned from it and could even share the things I learned. That is a successful film. Canned Dreams made me want to punch the filmmaker. I felt manipulated and in such a transparent way. I was so offended at the knowing that I was being played more so than the actual attempt at being played. What was I supposed to take away from this? I wasn’t really sure. Was it a plea for vegetarianism? Was I supposed to now assume that ever single person who works in any capacity with the food on my grocery store shelf is the most degenerate, most exploited, saddest excuse for a person and I should feel guilty for eating now?
If the latter of the two was the point of the film then fuck you, filmmaker. I refuse to believe it.
If the former was the point then fuck you again because it disturbed me. It didn’t teach me. You don’t unlearn something normally but you can create a cognitive dissonance to what is disturbing. So I think the approach was bullshit.
But, aside from being pissed at the filmmaker I did dig a little deep while I was watching the theater floor unable to block the sounds of screaming dying animals and also while I was looking around at other audience members who could look at the screen. I wondered why they would. How could they look? Then I thought, how can I eat meat if I can’t look at this. And that was my only effective take-away.
But I am still pissed.
Apparently me! At least as of this morning.
I don’t claim to be a vegetarian, I just don’t eat meat very often.
I can’t cook meat without being a freak about pathogens and I can’t claim to be a vegetarian because of my innate rebellious nature that will force me to eat 4 cheeseburgers a day if I go around saying that shit.
But bacon taste good.
Everyone remembers, that as a kid, bacon tastes like the most-absolute-goodest thing you could ever give a child to eat to prove that you love it more than anything which I think explains why it remains a comfort food for most people and which is why I always love the smell, the taste and the feelings of mother-closeness that I get whenever it’s magically in front of me.
I don’t know what’s happening. Maybe because I don’t eat bacon often, or meat often, but I went to breakfast this morning and had a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and I really didn’t like the taste of the bacon. And then I remembered this happened the last time I had bacon and the time before that too.
Which is great.
Maybe my body is naturally turning away from meat, even the most delicious meat and if this is true then it makes me super happy. Because, I really don’t want to eat meat and I really want that to be my body’s decision alone so that when I eventually can say that I am a vegetarian it won’t feel like I’m bullshitting anyone and they will sense that too and respect it more.
So I do think this most recent revelation is great. But, I will call my mother today and make her tell me she loves me.