Feb 18, 2013


Petent/ Petitioner (1970)
This short film takes place in a small office of an unknown bureaucrat busily involved in paperwork. A man walks in and attempts to have the bureaucrat sign the forms with, at first, no success. The man places an envelope on top of the papers, an obvious bribe, which the bureaucrat slyly places in a desk drawer, then finally signs and stamps the papers. Once the man has left, the bureaucrat opens the envelope to reveal a short message: “Thanks for signing!” The message is translated in the film’s description at Enthusiasts Archive. The film has sound and the only audio playing is some fantastic, upbeat funk music. At first, the music seemed incompatible with a man simply sitting at his desk signing and writing papers, but I also found it to be the most intriguing element of the film. It gives the film a cheerfulness, which is not felt if the film is watched silently… or accidently on mute. The music and the narrative came together at the end when I understood the bureaucrat had been duped. I imagine this film being viewed in a series of training or orientation films, which warn the new employee to engage in ethical conduct. 

Kristin MacDonough

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