Who knew that three hours of coarsely edited Romanian state propaganda culled from the ruinous Ceaucescu era between 1965 and 1989 could be so transfixing, illuminating and haunting? Andrei Ujica’s extraordinary film eschews context and narration in a wry attempt to fashion a historical chronicle in the same dubiously subjective spirit that the footage was initially conceived. Little more than a barrage of vainglorious speeches, gaudy processions and precisely orchestrated state visits, it’s similar to watching one of Leni Riefenstahl’s documents of Nazi excess in that the specific intentions of the footage take on a radically different meaning when viewed from an unforgiving historical remove.
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
Cast and crew