Saf Health Work.  2017 Dec;8(4):347-355. 10.1016/

Health and Safety at Work: Analysis from the Brazilian Documentary Film Flesh and Bone

  • 1School of Agriculture “Luiz de Queiroz” (ESALQ), University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2State University of Maringá (Brazil), Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.


The objective of this article is to make some analysis on the process of work and accidents occurring in slaughterhouses, evidenced in the Brazilian documentary film called Flesh and Bone. As such, it was necessary to discuss an alternative theoretical concept in relation to theories about health and safety at work. This alternative discussion focuses on the concepts of biopower and biopolitics.
The use of audiovisual elements in research is not new, and there is already a branch of studies with methodological and epistemological variations. The Brazilian documentary Flesh and Bone was the basis for the research. The analysis of this documentary will be carried out from two complementary perspectives: “textual analysis” and “discourse analysis.”
Flesh and Bone presents problems related to health and safety at work in slaughterhouses because of the constant exposure of workers to knives, saws, and other sharp instruments in the workplace. The results show that in favor of higher production levels, increased overseas market sales, and stricter quality controls, some manufacturers resort to various practices that often result in serious injuries, disposal, and health damages to workers.
Flesh and Bone, by itself, makes this explicit in the form of denunciation based on the situation of these workers. What it does not make clear is that, in the context of biopolitics, the actions aimed at solving these problems or even reducing the negative impacts for this group of workers, are not efficient enough to change such practices.


biopolitics; biopower; documentary film; health and safety at work
Full Text Links
  • SHAW
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: