Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed

Bureaucracy shapes our lives and guides us from the cradle to the grave. This documentary, directed by Donald Brittain, lays bare the idiosyncrasies of bureaucracy, whether in Canada, Austria, Hungary, the Vatican or the Virgin Islands. It also attempts to make the functioning of the public service more comprehensible. The absurdities of bureaucratic behaviour are exposed with humour and irreverence.

From the playlist : Donald Brittain: Writer, filmmaker, storyteller.

I had just become an executive producer when this film was edited. I remember watching it and saying, "I'm so offended! I'm a civil servant, and I'm not like that!" Of course, years later I understood exactly what Donald was getting at. It was all those small-minded people who refuse to take risks, who cover their asses all the time, who make sure that whatever happens they won't be blamed. You don't want to be blamed for making mistakes, so you don't make mistakes but then you don't actually have any successes, either.

That's what that film was all about.

— Adam Symansky

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Donald Brittain
Marrin Canell
Donald Brittain
executive producer
Barrie Howells
Paul Wright
Donald Brittain
Ronald Blumer
John T. Random
Douglas Kiefer
Barry Perles
Hans Oomes
Richard Todd
sound editing
Bernard Bordeleau
Hans Peter Strobl
Adrian Croll


  • LucaTarantini

    “The tongue-in-cheek narration of this film is just too much, and the strained mundanity of some shots degenerate into jokes themselves. I love this film.” — LucaTarantini, 15 Oct 2012

  • Sammyg

    “Excellent film. It doesn't put them down, they are simply people trying to do what their bosses tell them.” — Sammyg, 24 Apr 2010

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