The Human Resources Manager Eran Riklis

The Human Resources Manager Eran Riklis
Because director Eran Riklis has never been known for his subtlety – Lemon Tree was a movie about a Palestinian woman whose lemon orchard livelihood is taken away from her because an Israeli politician moves in next door – the politics of his latest (more accessible) effort, The Human Resources Manager, are that much more apparent. Here, as the title suggests, a human resources manager (Mark Ivanir) for a large Israeli bakery is forced to accompany the body of one of his employees back to her country of origin (which is deliberately not named despite her clearly being of Slavic descent). Having been killed by a suicide bomb after her shift supervisor fired her for being a threat to his marriage, the victim, who worked as a janitor despite having an engineering degree, was treated like garbage in life, much like in death, where her body was left unclaimed for weeks before she was traced back to her employer. The only reason the bakery even cared was that a reporter intended to write a criticism piece about corporate greed, which inevitably inspired them to express empathy and concern. The resulting road trip is a consistently tragic comedy of errors and exaggerated, poor European misery, with the manager throwing money at everyone he can just to make his problem – a dead body – go away. Instead, he winds up driving 1,000 kilometres with the reporter and the dead woman's son to find his grandmother, who is of legal age to sign for the body. With the titular HR manager throwing money at everyone and caring only out of obligation after his country used, abused and indirectly killed an honest immigrant, Riklis's social commentary isn't exactly masked. It is, however, made accessible by an oft-amusing dark comedy template that embraces the idiosyncrasy of any given scene, rather than doting on the dire nature of it all. Resultantly, this Israeli hit is actually quite engaging, inspiring thought rather than annoyance, which is impressive given the obvious politics. Also included with the DVD is Hungarian short film Tell Your Children, which details the WWII slaughter of Jews and resultant escape of a child, only to jump ahead several decades to find said child, as an elderly woman, assaulted by some Neo-Nazi dickheads. It's actually quite a powerful film for something that clocks in at less than five minutes, having substance and emotional resonance. (Film Movement)