"Our Daily Bread" – Pavel Ruzyak (EcoFair Media)

The short film "Our Daily Bread" by Pavel Ruzyak is one of six winning projects presented at "EcoFair Media – Good food for all!" that artistically and substantively tackle the issue of the human right to food. A presentation of the projects will be held on January 16th at 4PM at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin.

The short film „Our Daily Bread“ highlights one day in the life of a young mother working in a delicacy factory who can barely provide enough food for herself and her child.

I have always been interested in documentaries that deal with questions of humanity and socially critical issues and have made a few documentaries in that field myself. My main domain is fictional film, however, which is why I decided to cover the theme “Good food for all!” in a fictional film with documentary aspects. This way, I was able to explore the topics of human dignity and the paradox of today’s food situation more clearly and straightforwardly. I chose the true story of a family that is forced to cope with life day by day because of its alarming reality.

I think it’s important to show audiences unnoticed or hidden things as a form of education that hopefully raises people’s awareness to act in a responsible and emphatic manner, even if the effects of our behaviour may not be visible immediately. This is the only way to create a more equal society. Food plays an essential role within our lives. It is also linked to many aspects of society such as our roles as workers and consumers.

By producing unhealthy, addictive and overpriced food, we create a society with similar features. By accepting this kind of food, we accept an unequal society. It’s important to realize that the right to food applies to everyone, because the right to food essentially means the right to live. By creating a society where the right to food truly applies to everyone, and by pointing out the negative aspects of today’s world, we can overcome these problems and, together, create the better future we dream of. This is a responsibility for each and everyone of us, and for society in general. These are the topics I explore in my film, and through this film I want to help to improve society and help others to do so consciously.

I found Beilin Liu, who plays the main character, by chance. She’s not a professional actress but she had a perfect understanding of the role. Although the role is difficult and we didn’t have much time to shoot the film in the factory, she knew what I was looking for. Her son is played by Kim Do. I looked around in schools for a boy who would fit the role and asked friends and families I know and finally found him. The locations were much harder to handle, especially the factory. A lot of factories declined our request to film their working processes and gave us a lot of excuses. I was already pretty desperate when a very big factory in Prague finally agreed to work with us.

The temperature in the bakery was very high, and, given all the hygiene regulations, our three-day shoot wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. But everybody, including the management, was very cooperative and kind. The workers showed the actress how each stand works and helped her to learn the process and technology. So as not to disturb their daily routine too much, we shot with a very small crew. The children at school were also very cooperative and we had a lot of fun with them. We shot during actual lessons, with the teacher staging one or two things for us. 

Pavel Ruzyak

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