Paperland: The Bureaucrat Observed
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 58 min
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.