Out of enthusiasm, a Militia soldier abandons his platoon and decides to fight for the cause of the Revolution. His Lieutenant and the rest of the crew look for him during the confused night of 22-23 December 1989.
It's the 22nd of December. Sixteen years have passed since the revolution, and in a small town Christmas is about to come. Piscoci, an old retired man is preparing for another Christmas ... See full summary »
Paul Hanganu loves two women. Adriana his wife and the mother of their daughter, the woman with whom he's shared the thrills of the past ten years, and Raluca the woman who has made him redefine himself. He has to leave one of them before Christmas.
An apartment kitchen: a man and a woman discuss Little Red Riding Hood, their voices hushed, mindful of waking the little girl sleeping next room. Waste land on the city outskirts: behind a... See full summary »
On his spring break at the seaside, with his wife and his four year old son, Bogdan Ciocazanu runs into his best friends from high-school at the precise date and time that reminds all of ... See full summary »
Occident is a bittersweet comedy that focuses on the growing tendency of Eastern European youth to migrate west. When the amicable Luci (Alexandru Papadopol) and his beautiful lover Sorina ... See full summary »
During the summary trial that he and his wife were submitted to, Nicolae Ceausescu is reviewing his long reign in power: 1965-1989. From a formal point of view, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu proves that it is possible to only use existing images to yield films focused on recent history, yet with an epic vein similar to that of the historical fiction cinema. This is an eminently syntactic endeavor, where montage plays a twofold part: mise-en-scene, as it builds scenes that do not exist as such in the rushes, and classical editing, connecting scenes together. Written by
Cannes Film Festival
"The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" is an audacious, and to my eye very successful, way to tell a story. I should say to show a story, because nothing is told. No context or viewpoint is provided, other than the camera's. The filmmakers have drawn on a rich video archive concerning Ceausescu and Rumania from 1965 to 1989. No opinions are explicitly offered, and no history or explanation provided, beyond what the camera sees. And the camera sees a lot. As with the footage in Leni Riefenstahl's "Olympia," the images are quite arresting, and one really doesn't want to move one's eye away from what the camera is seeing. I would offer three pieces of advice about the film. First, go and be prepared to supply your own context. I'm a historian and fairly wonky in these matters, but even so, it took me a good few minutes to get accustomed to the idea that the film's narrative was going to be simply what the camera was showing. I suspect this will catch many viewers by surprise, and it's better to know it in advance. Second: go with an open mind. Ceausescu is a controversial character. It pays to put your viewpoints aside --not forget them, just suspend them-- while you are seeing the film. And finally, by all means go. This is audacious storytelling and great cinema. The effort you expend on this journey will certainly be rewarded.
35 of 40 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?