Their work is to bake bread, stock shelves, collect shopping carts, check security cameras and scan groceries, always making sure they are attentive to the customers—day in, day out. Together, the employees at this Brazilian supermarket work like a well-oiled machine. But what’s the place of the individual in this impersonal environment, which demands repetitive, robotic qualities from those who work in it rather than humanity?
Director Tali Yankelevich explores the vast premises and talks to employees, whom the customers hardly notice. What does the warehouse worker think about his job and his place in society? How do bakers cope with the pressure of work, and what do they read during their break? Can love exist on the work floor? What does the cashier think about when business is slow?
Yankelevich cleverly interweaves the candid stories with carefully composed and detailed shots of the supermarket. The human dilemmas, philosophical questions, dreams and social issues contrast remarkably well with shots of lifting carts, special offer signs and packets of flour. In this stylistically pure group portrait, the real stars are the workers, who won’t allow their routine to hijack their spirit.