Welfa(i)re

a creative documentary film, in development
Original Title Uřad práce
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium

Script Džian Baban, Adéla Komrzý
Director Adéla Komrzý
Cinematography Martin Kollar
Producer Nina Numankadić – Marina Films
Co-producers Peter Kerekes (SK), Alice Lemaire – Michigan Films (BE), UPP (CZ)

The threat of poverty in Europe is affecting an ever-greater number of people due to various crises of recent years. Behind the counter of the Czech Welfare Office, hundreds of clients drag with them the weight of their plight; people at the bottom of society as well as those firmly in the middle class struggle to survive. The clerks – the protagonists of the documentary Welfa(i)re – try their best to help them, but often slam up against the absurdity of bureaucracy and human greed.

The observational film “Welfa(i)re” follows the workings of an employment office in Pribram, Central Bohemia region from the perspective of a clerk. The protagonist Eva and her colleagues decide whether their clients will have enough to eat and pay their bills this month. The state system, cursed by the clients who move through it, is staffed by flesh and blood people too. There are several hundred clients for every civil servant. Can female clerks, who themselves work in undignified conditions, frustrated and underpaid, work to create a system that is human?