“The Human Resources Manager,” is an Israeli drama, from Eran Riklis, about a Human Resources Manager (Mark Ivanir), without a name, but a title. He works for a large commercial bakery and has to go above and beyond when a former temp worker is found among the dead at a suicide bombing site. But when no one claims her at the morgue, a muckraking print reporter rails the bakery for not claiming her.
The bakery chief, concerned about how that story hurts the business, presses the manager to look into a small payroll question that led to the worker having a bakery paycheck on her, but her not being in their other systems. The HR Manager finds that he’ll have to go with the body and help bury it. This brief journey for public relations and peace making winds up taking longer than expected and creeps into a set of mid-life-like questions.
Minneapolis’ Lagoon Cinema plays this for a week starting on April 15th.
With each step he takes to fix this PR crisis, he winds up attracting yet one more person, and one more wrinkle, to a simple matter of identifying and burying remains: first he has to satisfy his boss, then after doing that, he finds that she’ll have a bigger problem for him when he returns.
Then he has to find and deal the victim’s widower. There’s a problem, so he can’t give consent. Above all, a series of sillier and stranger events make this road to better PR deeper. They have to see about the woman’s son… And then there’s a Consul, and a Vice Consul and then their official driver. But his driver’s license isn’t in order. Oh, and that muckraking reporter who starte this is also tagging along. But wait, there’s more…
If this’s a comedy, it’s dry. Eitan Gorlin’s “The Holy Land,” also Israeli, and from 2001, is funnier, and has more wit. Similar, equally profound life-deciding questions pop up in this film. While the characters in “The Human Resources Manager” are only colorful, those in “The Holy Land” are vibrant and more fully drawn.
“The Human Resources Manager” is a good, interesting story that’s well worth a look.