We didn't get too much on the news here in San Francisco when this happened in 1989, just some general snippets. We knew in general what had happened, that there was a coup, that Nicolae Ceausescu was executed, etc, but not many people here really knew what happened. There was a lot of confusion, misinformation and general lack of any in depth coverage as to what was really happening at the time. National Public Radio provided the most in depth coverage, but even they didn't quite get the whole thing when it was actually happening. Mostly likely because of things like media blackouts, competing propaganda, etc. This movie shows far more than anything I ever saw reported here. This has just been released by Facets video and I was able to rent it on DVD via Netflix.
Americans might dismiss this sort of thing as old Soviet era cold war communist events that could only happen then and in those places, and while nothing comes close to this sort of revolution in the West, there are hints of that here, and that is scary. The basic issues of who controls the media are still there in both cases, omnipresent police at demonstrations, tanks in the street, like Los Angeles last year, the ignorance of the elite and refusal to recognize the common peoples problems, lies, counter lies, allegiances and loyalty, the military allegiance to > the people or the president?....Does the recent US military (retired) generals criticism of Donald Rumsfeld ring a bell?
Yep, it's pretty complicated stuff folks,and this film shows it all.It should be required viewing for all young people everywhere. Why? Because it serves as a reminder of what can happen when too many people become unhappy. It reminds people of how delicate many situations are around the world, even today. How easily a situation can deteriorate unless leaders are mighty careful.
I'm online in some discussion groups with people in Romania and nearby Slovenia and surrounding countries. In many areas, much of this was carried live in the region, but not everything. As the films shows, there were media blackouts. That's true indeed.
This will take some time, but I believe that the subtitles made for the DVD are not quite complete....We think they can be improved to get a better understanding. I'm working with my Romanian friends who do remember this and do know English to maybe eventually send Facets video a nice time stamped text file. Maybe they can release an updated second edition. After all, it should be the Romanians themselves who see this documentary and help the world better understand what happened via the English text/subtitles or any other language. It's their history, and by extension, everybody's history.
also, none of my friends in Romania recognize this video as being widely available there. We're working on getting them a copy.
Outstanding documentary, I give it a 9.0
Mostly it's because this documentary shows,like no other I have seen, how a huge number of people can turn, on the edge of a pin
Jeff Webb, San Francisco May 5, 2006
"It Can't Happen Here" - Frank Zappa 1966
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