“Voi raspunde numai in fata Marii Adunari Nationale”, aceste sfidatoare si grandilocvente cuvinte ale lui Ceausescu au marcat finalul “Epocii de Aur”, epoca infamiei, a mizeriei si a turpitudinii netarmurite. Unui simulacru de proces i-a urmat plutonul de executie. Filmul lui Andrei Ujica, o devastatoare autopsie a tiraniei comuniste, isi continua in chip spectaculos cariera americana. Dupa succesul de la New York, urmeaza Washington, Boston, Los Angeles. Am prezentat filmul saptamana trecuta la New York, la Museum of the Moving Image, un eveniment organizat impreuna cu excelenta echipa de la ICR New York. Il prezint acum la Washington, la West End Theatre. In “Washington Post” (suplimentul de weekend), critica de film a ziarului, Ann Hornady, ii acorda trei stele si jumatate, adica intre foarte bun si capodopera: “‘The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu’ is a must-see for any student of history, political rhetoric and film poetics at their most vagrant and revelatory”. Intr-adevar, un film revelator, tulburator, nelinistitor, un film-avertisment despre pericolele puterii absolute, despre cum se zidesc miturile infailibilitatii si despre cum se destrama gloriile dictatorilor.
Am scris despre Ceausescu si mecanismele dictaturii sale, despre megalomania si obsesiile sale, inca de la inceputul anilor 80. In 1984 aparea in revista “Telos” studiul meu “The Ambiguity of Romanian National Communism”, in 1985, in revista “Problems of Communism”, publicam studiul “Ceausescu’s Socialism”, iar in 1986, in “Orbis” aparea articolul meu “Byzantine Rites, Stalinist Follies: The Twilight of Dynastic Communism in Romania”. Pe 30 decembrie 1987 am publicat in “New York Times” articolul “Tremors in Romania” in care accentuam semnificatia revoltei muncitoresti anticomuniste din 15 noiembrie de la Brasov. Pe 23 decembrie 1989, tot in “New York Times” publicam un articol despre caderea regimului Ceausescu si sansele democratizarii Romaniei. Pe 5 februarie 1990, in revista “The New Republic” aparea articolul meu “New Masks, Old Faces” considerat de multi junralisti si analisti drept un eye-opener in legatura cu chipul familar al juntei neo-comuniste de la Bucuresti. Pe “Contributors” m-am ocupat adeseori de dictatura lui Ceausescu, am aratat originile ei in epoca Dej, am insistat supra mostenirilor comunismului si a necesitatii eradicarii lor. Am colaborat cu Andrei Ujica pentru identificarea unora dintre personajele din acest exceptional film. Un film care demonteaza relatia dintre ideologie si putere in dictaturile nascute din paroxismul pasiunilor utopice, dar si cinismul occidental care, din ratiuni de oportunitate, a contribuit la auto-mistificarea lui Ceausescu si la neutralizarea opozitiei interne prin perpetuarea unui fals consens si universalizarea minciunii.
The Embassy of Romania to Washington D.C. and the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York
are proud to announce the Washington D.C. release of Andrei Ujica’s masterwork
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU. A Film Desk Release.
The film opens in Washington DC this Friday, October 7th at West End Cinema.
Opening screening at 7 pm introduced by Vladimir Tismaneanu, professor of politics at the University of Maryland at College Park
The Film Desk is pleased to present the U.S. theatrical premiere of THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU, the masterwork by Romanian filmmaker Andre Ujica which concludes his trilogy that began with the groundbreaking Videograms of a Revolution. An official selection of the Cannes, New York and Toronto Film Festivals, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU is a genre-shattering work of the “new non-fiction” that culls decades of propaganda films from the Romanian national archives, synthesizing them into a taught, tragic, sprawling epic that seems recounted from the megalomaniacal point of view of the brutal 20th century dictator himself.
Opening with the chilling mock trial of Ceausescu and his wife Elena just before their execution in 1989, the film drifts back in time to glean the leader’s rise from the son of a backwater peasant to international statesman, surreally embraced with high pageantry and pomp by world leaders of every political denomination, including Queen Elizabeth, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Charles de Gaulle, Kim Il-sung and Mao Tse-tung. We witness the demolition of downtown Bucharest to make way for a colossal presidential palace, the vast, failed construction projects of the 70s and 80s, glimpses of Kodachrome home movies from Black Sea vacations and the silent torture of Romanian people and politicians enduring Ceausescu’s rambling, disconnected speeches in a famished land where dissent is punishable by death. Ujica breaks the bounds of traditional documentary form revealing this draconian autocrat’s fabricated cinematic version of a nation’s reality as a delusional, scathing and dreamlike self-portrait.
Prof. Vladimir Tismaneanu is the author of numerous books including Reinventing Politics: Eastern Europe from Stalin to Haveland Stalinism for All Seasons: A Political History of Romanian Communism. In 2006, he served as chair of the presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU will be screened from Friday, October 7th through Thursday, October 13th at 3pm and 7pm everyday at the West End Cinema (23rd Street NW, between M & N streets, Washington DC).
For schedule and tickets: http://westendcinema.com/coming_soon.html#autobiography_of_nicolae_ceausescu.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU. 2010, Romania. 180 min. Romanian with English subtitles. Written and directed by Andrei Ujica. Producer: Velvet Moraru. Editing and sound design: Dana Bunescu. Archival research: Titus Muntean. Visual consultant: Vivi Dragan Vasile RSC. Colorist: Roberta Raduca.
You can also download here the special publication featuring an article by Vladimir Tismaneanu. For more information about the film and its ongoing U.S. release, visit www.thefilmdesk.com/ANC.
Ujica is the subject of a retrospective at the Harvard Film Archives (October 7th to 9th). THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU also opens October 7th at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater in Los Angeles, followed by screenings at Wexner Center of the Arts (Columbus), International House (Philadelphia), Bard College (Annandale, NY), Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY), Romanian-Canadian Cultural Association (Calgary), U. Wisconsin Cinematheque (Madison), Cleveland Cinematheque, Oklahoma City Museum of Arts and Eastman House (Rochester). Previously, the film screened for two weeks at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center in New York, and the retrospective was presented by the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY, in collaboration with the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York.
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