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The Employment (2008)
"El empleo" (original title)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 856 users  
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A man prepares and goes to work in a bizarre world, where the meaning of human workforce is taken to another level.


(as Santiago Grasso)


(idea), (story), 2 more credits »
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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


In a bizarre world, a working man is awoken by his alarm clock. He shaves, dresses and has breakfast. An unknown man holds up his mirror. Three people make up his chair and table. A woman stands, at the door, working as his coat hanger. He hails a ride and rides piggyback all the way to work. At a traffic light, a group of humans riding humans await the light to change. There are two men hanging on a pole representing traffic lights. One opens his jacket and reveals a red shirt. Then he closes his jacket, so the other man can reveal his green shirt. He puts his coat and briefcase in a locker where a woman is hanging on the locker door working as his coat hanger and briefcase holder. He takes an elevator ride up, using a human counterweight. There, he begins his work as a doormat. His boss shows up, scrapes his feet on his back and enters his office. He continues to lay there in front of an office door. Written by ley-moon

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Release Date:

November 2008 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

El empleo  »

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User Reviews

Nice delivery but the point being made seems less savory without a clear target
28 February 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I saw this short film it opens with the usual laurel leaves award logo which all short film festivals seem to use now, except in this case the screen is full of them for about the first 30 seconds of the film since, as it tells us, it has so far won 102 awards. I tried to ignore this since I never think it is a good idea to pre-hype your own film with talk of greatness. The short film is basically one joke, or rather one point being made. We join a familiar scene as a man walks up to prepare to go to his work. The scene is made less ordinary by the sight that this mirror is held by a person, his coat and keys held by a person and so on. He does to work on someone's back, only stopping at traffic lights (which are two guys wearing a red or green shirt under a coat), this continues until he reaches the place of his work.

Although it is amusing and cleverly done, essentially I think this short is meant to make us think about the nature of work and the ultimate space we all fit in. Although the examples are extreme, it is difficult for many to really say we work to make a huge difference and that, without the specific job we do, somehow the world would spin off its axis and collapse in chaos. So, while the specifics offer more than the dead-eyed tasks performed in this film, it is only a matter of degrees in many cases. As an one-message deal, the film does frustrate for its comment but lack of alternatives and I did wonder what the makers thought the world should look like if this really is what they are saying. The lack of context does rather feel like they are kicking the service industries, including those performing essential but ultimately unfulfilling tasks.

The animation is clever and some of the uses of people in the place of automated tasks is frequently quite clever but this is a simple short that makes one point and then continues to make it throughout. It is still amusing and thought-provoking but with 102 awards under its belt I can only presume it touched a nerve in many others even though it didn't do too much for me personally.

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