After The Axe (1981)

STURLA GUNNARSSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

Canada, 1981.  National Film Board of Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Sturla Gunnarsson, Steve Lucas.  Music by , .  Film Editing by .  

This is an excellent documentary with a hilarious premise: it asks you to spare your deepest sympathy for struggling white-collar executives in the mid-80s recession who find themselves fired from their six-figure jobs. Its main protagonist is actually an actor portraying a giant food company bigwig whose clashes with his colleague lead to him being pushed out by the board. He consults with employment experts and pounds the pavement looking to work, but his age and the circumstances of his lack of employment weigh against him heavily. While the subject (and his family) are all actors, everyone he comes into contact with are all real people, making for a fascinating combination of drama and documentary that captures its era extremely well.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Documentary Feature

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