Genesis of a Meal

Director: Luc Moullet
Year Released: 1978
Rating: 3.5

While eating a nutritious meal of eggs and bananas, Moullet wonders where they came from and how they ended up on his fork and so, like a Good Marxist, he investigates the rights of workers in both France and Africa. While it doesn't take a great mind to come to the conclusion that Africans are exploited by the wealthy, there's an obsessive-ness to Moullet's documentary that goes well beyond surface and into the minutiae of the matter, such as actual dollars and cents (he's big on statistics) and testimony from the workers themselves, and how (comparatively) fortunate the French are to the Africans - both are exploited, but it's a matter of degree. It shows the psychotic disinterest in human life capitalism displays but at the same time laments society's inability to repair the system and promote equality, better wages, better working conditions - though Moullet documents, he confesses he is unable to save lives, and even goes so far to admit that his documentation is, in its own way, also exploiting the workers. This is impersonal, calculated filmmaking, but absolutely necessary.