Return to tiff.’s home page

Canadian Film Encyclopedia

Shopping Cart

Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed

Year: 1979
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 58 min
Director: Donald Brittain
Producer: Donald Brittain
Executive Producer: Barrie Howells, Paul Wright
Writer: Donald Brittain, Ronald Blumer, John Random
Cinematographer: Douglas Kiefer, Barry Perles
Editor: Richard Todd
Sound: Hans Oomes, Bernard Bordeleau, Hans Strobl, Adrian Croll
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

This clever documentary exposes the idiosyncrasies of bureaucratic behaviour with humour and irreverence. In scenes from Ottawa, Austria, communist Hungary, the Vatican (home to the world’s oldest bureaucracy) and the tiny Virgin Islands (where a lone bureaucrat literally changes hats to carry out his various functions), the film brings insight to the inherent irrationality of a system that can cause intelligent individuals to commit collective absurdities.

Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed was nominated for six Genie Awards; in addition to being named Outstanding Feature Documentary, the film won prizes for Donald Brittain’s direction, Richard Todd’s editing and the script by Ronald Blumer, John T. Random and Brittain.

Related Entries