Nicolae Ceausescu’s autobiography
October 28, 2010Posted by on
“Cinema’s propagandistic power is in full effect in Andrei Ujica’s montage epic, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, a contemporary fresco starring Romania’s fallen ruler and his wife, Elena. A radical and chilling project, the film concludes the filmmaker’s trilogy exploring the end of communism which began with the landmark Videograms for a Revolution, co-directed with German film essayist Harun Farocki.
Nicolae Ceauşescu’s megalomania and self-aggrandizement are legendary. As Romania’s tyrannical President from 1974 to 1989, he created a bizarre and seemingly infectious cult of personality for himself. As Romania plunged into mass poverty under his draconian austerity programme and his banning of contraception (which caused widespread child abandonment, botched clandestine abortions and countless AIDS/HIV-infected orphans), Ceausescu continued to be fêted the world over. He was knighted by the Queen of England, visited by President Nixon (during the Cold War, no less) and was received warmly by Charles de Gaulle, Mao Tse-tung and most auspiciously by the North Koreans, whose welcoming ceremonies for him rivaled those of the Beijing Olympics.
Four years in the making and culled from one thousand hours of archival footage – both state sanctioned and private – this spellbinding adventure unfolds as if from the nostalgic, solipsistic memory of Ceauşescu himself.”
Read the whole review here.
If you’re in Bucharest today, there is a screening happening at the Sala Palatului, entrance 5 Lei. New or old, from the Communist time. If not, watch the outstanding trailer below. Yes, all those scenes were real.