Film screening

• Sat 13 10 2018 •
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu Andrei Ujica


187', in Romanian with English subtitles
Venue: Filmforum im Museum Ludwig, Bischofsgartenstraße 1, 50667 Cologne

In cooperation with Internationale Filmschule Köln

On 25 December 1989, Romanian president Nicolae Ceaușescu was sentenced to death by a military court and shot. In a masterly assemblage using only archival, government-authorized film material, director ANDREI UJICA traces Ceaușescu’s life in this three-hour documentary. The thoroughly “official” footage in the film comes from the Romanian national archive; however, this “autobiography” is in no way a glorifying monument to the former president. With apparent spontaneity, these images come together in a parable on power, authority and the downfall of the communist utopia.

But where does doubt begin to creep in? Where does the heroic self-representation reveal itself as contrary to its original intent? In which cracks in the state propaganda are these fractures visible? Or is the perspective of today’s viewer perhaps just a product of historical distance? Ujica’s film raises fundamental questions about the fabrication of personal as well as historical truth. Thus, the film not only follows Ceaușescu’s rise and fall over a period of 25 years, but also functions as a chronicle of the production of propagandistic imagery in the late 20th century.