1976. USA. Frederick Wiseman. 113 min.
Sunday, February 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
1976. USA. Directed by Frederick Wiseman. As we debate and agonize over the humane treatment of farm animals and the safety of our food, the future of family farms, and the impact of agribusiness on the environment and on workers’ rights, Wiseman’s masterful study of one of America’s largest feed lots and meat-processing plants could not be more prescient or more provocative. Meat chronicles the journey of cattle and sheep from the auction block to the butcher block, through a highly automated system that is awesome in its efficiency and haunting in its implications about us as capitalist consumers. Wiseman’s film is a visual tour-de-force, in which tense union negotiations and discussions of profit margins are as riveting and as revelatory as the sequence in which a “Judas goat” leads lambs to their slaughter. 113 min.