Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed

Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed

                                Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed
| 57 min

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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.

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

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Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed, Donald Brittain, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • director
    Donald Brittain
  • producer
    Marrin Canell
    Donald Brittain
  • executive producer
    Barrie Howells
    Paul Wright
  • script
    Donald Brittain
    Ronald Blumer
    John T. Random
  • photography
    Douglas Kiefer
    Barry Perles
  • sound
    Hans Oomes
  • editing
    Richard Todd
  • sound editing
    Bernard Bordeleau
  • re-recording
    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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