Baking Bread, Breaking Bread: A Short Film by Zev Robinson, Filmmaker

I’d like to introduce you to Zev Robinson, a Canadian-British filmmaker living in Scotland. Zev focuses on the “art and politics of eating”, with a strong emphasis on the intersection of social justice and food.

The following is his description of the film:

“As screenings of Zev Robinson’s 28 minute documentary ‘Real Bread Bakers’ have had to be postponed indefinitely, it is now being made available online.

Six interviewees, including Andrew Whitley of Scotland the Bread and John Castley of Wild Hearth Bakery, look at how breadmaking, sourdough, local food, nutrition and a sense of community are all closely intertwined, and traces the real connections between rural, wheat growing areas and urban community projects in deprived neighbourhoods.

Personal stories, history and breadmaking practices are intricately interwoven with shots of leading bakers expertly plying their craft, mouth-watering Wild Hearth Bakery products, archival material and more to give a comprehensive view of the many wonderful aspects of breadmaking.”

Viewers will enjoy this film greatly, as it covers an immense amount of information about the mixing, baking, and such of bread. Ultimately, the focus is on companionship, which derived from Latin: com (with, together) + panis (bread).

The film emphasizes this sense of companionship among the bakers and the communities they serve. Occasional illustrations emphasize the long historical aspects of bread-making. One really fascinating portion of the film concerns a 19th-century Glasgow businessman – Neale Thomson – who observed that his workers were eating poor quality bread, so he created what came to be called Crossmyloof Bread.

And the film does an excellent job – via well-done photography – of conveying the details of the kneading, the forming, the baking of loaves as well. You will fall into the rhythm that breadmaking creates, lulled by the sound of dough slapping on floury tables. The only drawback, for me as an American, was the accents of the bakers and others. So I asked Zev to please close-caption the film, which he did to wonderful effect, making the experience of watching all the richer.

So if you love bread, and I know you probably do despite the low-carb crazes of recent years, tune in for Zev Robinson’s heartwarming, yet awareness-raising film about the importance of good, real bread for all. One baker summed it up quite succinctly: “We are part of a movement that wants better bread and better farming.”

Real Bread Bakers

Stock photo of a baker © Tomas Baeza Ortiz