If at the outbreak of the uprising only one camera dared to record, hundreds were in operation on the following day.' (Farocki)
A new media-based form of historiography, this documentary assembles videos of activists and onlookers with official footage of the 1989 Romanian revolution that saw the collapse of Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime. Between December 21, 1989 (the day of Ceausescu's last speech) and December 26, 1989 (the first televised summary of his trial), demonstrators occupied the television station in Bucharest and broadcasted continuously for 120 hours, establishing the television studio as a new historical site.
More than twenty years from its first release, Videograms of a Revolution is still as relevant now as it was then. As well as looking back on an important political shift in Romania’s recent history, this documentary also invites the viewer to asses the role of media in mobilising and empowering people.
Andrei Ujica (b. 1951) is a Romanian screenwriter, film essayist and director. He moved to Germany in 1981 and in 1990 he started his film career releasing the acclaimed Videograms of a Revolution trilogy, including Out of the Present (1996) and Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (2010). Ujica has published a number of stories and essays since 1968 and he is currently working on a new project – Beatles, a mixture of fiction and documentary exploring a weekend in the life of the famous British band.
Harun Farocki (1944 – 2014) directed more than 120 films and installations that originally analyse the powers of the image. In his teaching, his writings as well as his exhibitions conceived and produced with Antje Ehmann, Farocki was a powerful critic, editor, theorist and curator in his own right.
Farocki’s impact and influence on culture, within and beyond Germany, is undisputed. He was, and remains, a commanding figure of contemporary culture.
Genre: documentary, 1992, 107 min
Language: Romanian/German with English subtitles
Director: Harun Farocki / Andrei Ujica
Image credits: http://farocki-film.de/