Death of a Bureaucrat

Director: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
Year Released: 1966
Rating: 2.0

The nephew of a recently deceased man has to find a way to exhume the body - going through all sorts of roadblocks with paperwork and administrators - in order to retrieve the Work Card that's been (absentmindedly) buried with him: it's that Work Card that will enable the dead man's widow to receive her pension. The 'comedic' aspects - borrowed from classic Hollywood - are stale and the 'lightness' of the proceedings (to me) ignore the true tyranny of the Castro regime: it's intended as a satire of endless red tape in a Communist country, but these kinds of issues are prevalent in Capitalist societies (just ask anyone who ever applied for unemployment). The central concept - about the inanity of any bureaucratic system - is, of course, fantastic, but its inoffensiveness (enough so that the government of Cuba allowed it to be released) gives me pause....