The Crying of the Lambs
East German food biographies before and after 1989
How can we stop living at the expense of other living beings? How can we, in the face of ecological overexploitation, meat factories, omnipresent competition and exploitation of life forms, stop exploiting others for our own existence?
Projected onto the human/animal axis, all meat eaters are serial killers. In competition, we eat each other – we are cannibals in order to live. So how to live without eating others? How can we love, work, change without devouring others with it?
In this adaptation of Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs (1988) and the film of the same name (1991), serial killers Hannibal, Bufallo Bill, and FBI agent Starling argue about the practice and morality of killing and eating animals, people, and souls.
Hannibal: The Cannibal is the only meat eater who takes capitalism seriously. Total Exploitation. Someone has to die so we can live, Clarice. Animals, people, systems, states.
Starling: You don’t have to tell me, I’m from the East.
H: Capitalism is cannibalism, Starling.
S: You can’t think of anything else to eat, Dr. Lector? That’s how you are, eat up, eat up, otherwise they don’t feel anything.
H: Who do you eat up with your career, Agent Starling? Who do you let walk the plank? Your stepfather, your mother?
S: I stopped eating other living things after the fall of communism, Dr. Lector.
H: Every thing is alive, your veganism is also just an ideology.
S: If you only ever use knives, everything looks like steak eventually.
H: In every grain of wheat God lives, lives a psyche, a psychosis, a hatred for the other grain.
S: No love you have, Dr. Lector.
H: We all eat up someone else to make room for ourselves.
S: Am I just meat to you, too?
H: Love is consensual cannibalism, Clarice. I eat you up, you eat me up.
Who eats whom, whose career costs how many lives, who has to eat whom to get ahead? How can I love without eating you? How do you make the lambs stop crying?
It’s about veganism and cannibalism, carnivorousness and biofetishism, predatory mentality and scarcity economy. Worldviews and eating habits collide.
The adaptation builds on the film and book, integrating interviews with vegan and omnivorous people about their “food biographies”: many people have gone through several food turns within their lifetime. Each biography is a food thriller, each meal political, each murder a delight.