MEAT traces the process through which cattle and sheep become consumer goods. It depicts the processing and transportation of meat products by a highly automated packing plant, illustrating important points and problems in the area of production, transportation, logistics, equipment design, time-motion study, and labor management.
MEAT is a study of one of America’s largest feed lots and packing plants, and both is and isn’t what you expect it to be. Wiseman shows us how cattle are auctioned, the operations of a feeding lot, the care and feeding of the animals, the storage and packing of meat, and even union meetings and pricing arrangements. As always he treats his viewer as a person of intelligence who can put together his own pattern of meaning without narration. And as always he leads us to probe ourselves to see how we feel about what we are seeing on the screen. Like Wiseman’s earlier films, MEAT is disturbing, revealing, surprising and masterful cinema.
–Ken Wlaschin, London Film Festival Programme, 1976
MEAT’s commonplace inferno is the most extraordinary visual material in any of Wiseman’s 10 films on American institutions.
–David Denby, The Boston Phoenix
Wiseman’s most visually lacerating documentary…
–James Wolcott, The Village Voice