Videograms of a Revolution

Film - Documentary | February 12 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Before there were cell phones witnessing history in the making, there were video cameras. In December 1989, the future of Romania was up in the air. It was also on the air. During a televised speech, Nicolae Ceauşescu stopped speaking and looked off-camera, confused. The broadcast cut briefly to an empty red screen, until eventually his speech resumed. The (televised) revolution had begun—even if exactly what had happened was unclear. These images are among the last ones shot for Romanian state television. Filmmakers Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujică assembled them along with footage shot by amateurs and newsreel cameramen to reconstruct a chronology of events leading to the fall of the Ceauşescus. The result is a fascinating portrait of how confusing and chaotic history is in the making—in front of a camera and on the television screen. It is also an important reminder of the context for the revolution in Romanian cinema some thirty years later.

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