Over the past decade numerous important films have documented the production of what we eat and drink, often with the filmmaker taking a lead role as investigative reporter. French filmmaker Luc Moullet's Genèèse d'un repas (Origins of a Meal, 1980), was on the vanguard thirty years ago of this current wave of food-focused documentaries. Origins of a Meal is a comparative documentary on the handling and processing of various foods (eggs, bananas, and tuna) in three different countries: France, Ecuador, and Senegal. Moullet uncovers certain prejudices among his compatriots: in the late 70s, the French preferred bananas from Martinique and Guadaloupe, which are French overseas territories, to those from Ecuador. He also documents differences in wages and working conditions and dispels the myth that the cost of living is necessarily cheaper in Senegal or Ecuador than in France. Ultimately, Origins of a Meal is a film àà charge against Western capitalism, specifically in its French and American manifestations.

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