A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Romania's Revolution Against Communism Hits The Screen

The veteran New York Times foreign correspondent Alan Riding has written a fascinating report "Cameras Were Ready; The Revolution Wasn’t" on Corneliu Porumboiu's new film " “12:08 East of Bucharest,”" which depicts the downfall of Ceaucescu's Communist regime in one provincial town. It shows a fictional commemoration of the revolution on its 16th anniversary in which locals are asked to recount their "own revolution."

Riding asks "So was there a revolution at all? Well, Mr. and Mrs. Ceausescu were certainly dispatched to another place, but what followed was a very slow transition rather than sudden change. Many former Communists, reinventing themselves as democrats, were soon again running Romania. There were also no trials of members of Ceausescu’s infamous Securitate secret police."

The director and screenwriter Corneliu Porumboiu's own assessment addressed my concerns as a libertarian with a history degree from Columbia. “I was interested in dealing with these small histories,” he went on, “how people perceive history because each one tried to prove himself and prove his acts through this moment. And they make their own version of history.”

I am looking forward to seeing this film. It seems comparable to Ismail Kadare's novels about Albania, another former Communist country. I reviewed The Pyramid by Kadare for a number of publications. Have we moved in this blogging, YouTube era to an everyone making their own history of their times? Look at the videos created by survivors of the Madrid and London metro bombings.

We will have to wait for the film about the revolution against Castro's regime.

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