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February 15, 2012

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu

FREE SCREENING - Andre Ujica in Person
Wednesday February 15 at 7pm

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
(Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu)

Directed by Andrei Ujica, Appearing in Person
Romania/Germany 2010, 35mm, b/w & color, 180 min.
Romanian with English subtitles

During his rule of Communist Romania from 1967 to 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu and his administration documented their reign on hundreds of hours of film. Drawing on footage from the Romanian National Film Archive and state television, Ujica transforms a historical chronicle into a spellbinding, sweeping epic by simply proceeding chronologically through the decades with little commentary or exposition; there are no titles, captions or voiceover. Ujica's primary authorial intervention consists of precise selection, ingenious editing and a cleverly subtle soundtrack construction. Although Ujica includes some unguarded moments, all the images are essentially staged; they originate from events public or private that Ceausescu ordered photographed. For most of this slyly astonishing film, Ceausescu seems to be as much in thrall to the image he created of himself as his subjects were presumed to be.

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