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A fost sau n-a fost? (2006)
Minor but interesting humorous film touching on community discord/memories.
The film opens in a small town east of the capitol of Bucharest, Romania, as night falls. Street lights come on, then go out as dawn approaches.
A local TV host has decided to air a live discussion program on the 16th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution, December 22, 1989, which overthrew Nicolae Ceausescu.
As guests, he invites a local high-school teacher (who's also a semi-notorious drunk) and, because he can't get anyone else to come on the program, an older man who used to play Santa Claus for local children (including, at one time, the TV host himself).
As the program begins, the host makes some ridiculous quotes of Aristotle and Heraclitus in a failed attempt to give "gravity" to the discussion.
The local teacher seems to embellish his role as having been early to the celebration of revolution in the local square, protesting the repressive Communist regime a few minutes *before* Ceausescu fled in a helicopter. Callers to the program dispute his presence in the square before Ceausescu actually fled.
In the course of the calls, discord within the community becomes apparent. A previous Securitate employee, now a successful businessman, threatens to sue the host if his name continues to be mentioned. A local Chinese merchant, who sells firecrackers (a local nuisance) to children is reviled by the host as having nothing to do with the revolution and told to "go back to China."
The teacher, when he's drunk in the local bar, has cursed and ridiculed the merchant, but later when he's sober, sincerely apologizes to and borrows money from him. Sadly, the Chinese merchant is the only caller to stand up for the teacher and say that it's unfair for everyone else to criticize him.
The former Santa says that he came to the square, as others in the small town did, only *after it was clear that Ceausescu had been deposed,* when it was safe. He says, in a seeming bit of wisdom, that a revolution spreads in the same way that street lights in the city go on, from the center first, and then outward. People are afraid, and they do only what they feel comfortable with.
The teacher refuses to concede that he wasn't there first, protesting Ceausescu's regime before it was safe.
The host remarks, glibly, that since the use of photocells, all the street lights go on at the same time. It seems that the teacher is lying, but nothing is resolved in the discussion.
In the epilogue, we are shown scenes of the small city as night falls in the first Christmas season snowfall... but the lights don't all go on at the same time. Some take longer to illuminate than others. Some don't come on at all.