A Cuban worker dies accidentally and is buried together with his union card. It soon turns out that the widow will absolutely need the card for claiming her pension. Young nephew starts his hilarious fight against the authorities in order to disinter and rebury his uncle and retrieve the precious document.Written by
A surprisingly critical and hilarious vision of Havana in '66
When lent this film by a Spanish professor, my expectations were not high -- I had no idea this film from the early years of revolutionary Cuba was by Gutierrez Alea, Tinton, the director of Strawberries and Chocalate. Now, having seen the film, I wonder how it is that such a wonderful, imaginative work is not better known. For a good laugh, this can hardly be beat.
"Death of a Bureaucrat"(Muerte de un burocrata) is the story of a body that just can't get in the ground, and the frustrations suffered by the deceased's family in trying to address this situation. With the themes of bureaucratic rigidity, death, burial and the challenges of (then) modern-day Cuban life, we see linkages to Tinton's last work, "Guantanamera". The director has played with a range of techniques borrowed from some of the greats -- we find Bunuel's dream sequences, Chaplin's battles with the machine, and Keaton's daring-do. Hopefully, with the success of Tinton's final works, some of his earlier works will come into vogue.
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