June 2012, arsenal cinema

Re-visions of Romania


AUTOBIOGRAFIA LUI NICOLAE CEAUSESCU (The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu, Romania 2010) is how Andrei Ujica ironically, yet in all seriousness, named his film about the state and party chief who ran Romania for over 20 years. "After all, a dictator is simply an artist who is able to fully put into practice his egotism. It is a mere question of aesthetic level, whether he turns out to be Baudelaire or Bolintineanu, Louis XIV or Nicolae Ceaușescu", he himself said to describe the object of his cinematic examination. He watched 1,000 hours of footage from the Romanian film archives before putting together his docu-montage about Ceaucescu's political career after his predecessor Gheorghiu-Dej’s death. Juxtaposing the private and the public, as well as the perception according to the official protocol, the film ends with the execution of the Ceaușescus during the Romanian Revolution. It thus enables West European viewers to put together the missing pieces and form an idea of what came before the images that were broadcast to the world in December 1989 and have since inscribed themselves in the medial memory of this time of upheaval. In his working practice, Ujica consciously uses traditional film material to display the porous nature of the realm between fiction and non-fiction, and feeds the pieces of found reality into a greater narrative.

After the screening, there will be a chance to talk to the director. The event is part of the "Re-visions of the Romanian Revolution in Arts and Media Theory" symposium organized by "Media Historiographies”, a joint project organized by the universities of Weimar, Jena and Erfurt and funded by the German Research Foundation, which takes place on 2. June in Galeria Plan B and is dedicated to the tension-ridden interaction between visual media and history. (Tobias Ebbrecht)

In conjunction with the German Research Foundation research training group "Media Historiographies" (1.6.)

arsenal cinema: Re-visions of Romania

07:30 pm Cinema 1

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu Andrei Ujică Romania 2010 DCP OV/EnS 180 min

Followed by a discussion with Andrei Ujică

08:00 pm Cinema 2

The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man David Lynch USA 1980 35 mm OV 123 min