Death of a Bureaucrat and The Survivors (Los Sobrevivientes)
In Wheeler Auditorium
Death of a Bureaucrat
One of the most surprising films to come from Cuba, Death of a Bureaucrat is a black comic attack on bureaucracy. The situation in the film involves a worker who invented a machine to produce plastic busts of socialist heroes, who dies, and who is honored by being buried with his union card. His widow then needs the card to claim her pension; regulations prohibit an exhumation and her nephew tries to help by stealing the body in the coffin. There are more regulations against reburial and the endless comic possibilities of disposing of a body and a coffin are exploited in the comic tradition of Harold Lloyd, Bunuel, Laurel and Hardy, etc. to all of whom the film is dedicated.
Although produced in 1966, Death of a Bureaucrat premiered in this country only this past May, to great critical acclaim. The New Yorker called it “a slam-bang, hilarious account of the tyranny of red tape”; The Soho Weekly News called it “deliciously subversive... one of the funniest movies in town this year.”