By Rory L. Aronsky | February 7, 2004

It’s business as always for one office, but when your boss is Pol Pot, the former ultra-Marxist dictator, you damn well don’t want to piss him off.

In the Battambang Region of Cambodia in 1985, it’s another birthday for Pol Pot and his office has pulled out all the stops for a solemn birthday celebration, which includes an almost-too-quiet rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the chief. And of course the birthday cake has to be taste-tested by the new intern, just to make sure none of the office staff is out to kill the boss.

The gifts are run-of-the-mill, such as a wood grave carving that says, “Don’t ask me, I just work here.” There’s even a neck supporter for Pol, which one of his workers explains will help support his neck when he’s napping. However, the birthday party veers into nearly bad taste when the dictator is presented with a puppy, which immediately pisses on him. It was hard enough to like this short already and then a puppy has to be brought into the mix?? This is a man who mercilessly ordered the deaths of over a million of his people, via his Khmer Rouge posse, and he’s presented with a puppy?? That doesn’t roll with me. Even with the atmosphere that has been successfully captured, along with the look of the actors, this does nothing but mar a somewhat amusing short.

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