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When an unexploded WWII bomb is accidentally detonated in Pimlico, an area of London, it reveals a treasure trove and documents proving that the region is, in fact part of Burgundy, France and thus foreign territory. The British Government attempt to regain control by setting up border controls and cutting off services to the area. The 'Burgundians' fight back... Written by
Stephen Parkin <email@example.com>
A bustling and, it is implied, unscrupulous gaggle of Britons waddles its way into the freshly, sloppily partitioned nation of Burgundy. For the new Burgundians, opportunity knocks on one door, while confusion beats down another. The cacophonous Nazi explosion that created Burgundy (and buried Pimlico) is now rivaled by the vociferous crowd, swarming through the former British district like Bedouins over the dunes of Arabia.
T. E. B. Clarke's screenplay, "Passport to Pimlico," in its superior comedic handling of legal, logistical and practical civil nightmares, is one of best political parodies ever filmed. Like Clarke's later "The Lavender Hill Mob," "Passport" holds its knot to British underpinnings of dignity and grace under pressure; what remains so comedic about both stories, however, is the loss of such maintained hegemony. The direction, by veteran Henry Cornelius ("I Am a Camera," dramatic basis of "Cabaret"), is sure, confident in a way that resembles the careful work of a helmer filming a story of his own, which, in fact, he is (a conceptual collaboration with Clarke). It has been said that the two based their outline of "Passport to Pimlico" on the Canadian government's gift of a provincial `room' to the Netherlands.
"Passport" is a great, funny, touching film, well known to subject historians and critics, worthy of popular re-discovery.
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