What would a “Black Mirror” episode look like if it were directed by Wes Anderson? Quite similar to ‘The Warziniek’s File‘. But the short film signed by Pierre J. Secondi is more than this. It is a sci-fi-like tragicomic Kafkaesque exercise that illustrates a society as futuristic as it is interconnected with the madness of our present. Themes such as identity, the fragile boundary between truth and falsehood or the human condition, in general, are intertwined with a cynical look at the artificiality of modern society along with all its fictions that justify its existence. In such a “fictitious” world, citizens’ behaviour is quantified in grades, while both their personal information, past and intimacy are stored, with the help of hyperintelligent machines in a database that can be altered at any time. To be or not to be a citizen or, more precisely, to be or not to be a person aware of their existence – that is the question.

 

Paul Warziniek is a modest citizen with a “happy” life, in accordance with the rules imposed by the society he lives in. But when he receives an absurd fine, he must find out what the error in the system is. Paul Warziniek is about to start a war.

 

Dynamic and incisive through the cynicism with which it highlights delicate aspects of the contemporary society’s mechanisms, the short film brings to the stage a current avatar of the famous character Josef K., who actually reflects the entire humankind. In other words, Pierre J. Secondi depicts in his project the tragedy of modern people who replaced the old god with bureaucracy. It is difficult, therefore, to talk about a concrete psychological stake, since the characters look more like puppets trapped in a monstrous mass brainwashing gear. But this is perhaps the most sensitive theme addressed in the subtext of this “glamorous”, catchy universe which, through the director’s corrosive ironic gaze, encapsulates a bitter manifesto about the imminent failure of humanity. ‘The Warziniek’s File’ is a campy bureaucratic dystopia about the struggle between the individual and the System against the background of a pastel spatial convention, articulated with the professionalism of a mature director and the sensitivity of a special aesthete.

 

For the incisiveness, intelligence, and humanism with which it illustrates the tragedy of he modern individual, but also for the style, coherence, and professionalism with which the director articulates its cinematic matter, ‘The Warziniek’s File’ was awarded the Film of the Month distinction in the October 2021 edition of TMFF.

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