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Slideshow

  • Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu raises a clapsed hand with North Korean leader Kim Il-sung.
  • Black and white image of Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu smiling and holding a beverage.
  • Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu sits.
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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU

2:20

Monday, November 18

(2010, Andrei Ujica) Thousands of hours of official/propaganda footage and even home movies edited – without narration – to document the rise and fall of the notorious leader. 35mm. Approx. 180 min.

Reviews

“Cinema’s propagandistic power is in full effect in Andrei Ujica’s montage epic, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, a contemporary fresco starring Romania’s fallen ruler and his wife, Elena. A radical and chilling project, the film concludes the filmmaker’s trilogy exploring the end of communism which began with the landmark Videograms for a Revolution... Autobiography defies categorization and functions closest to a Vertovian “film-object” wherein fragments of reality are edited together from an inventory of images in order to illustrate a higher truth. But what constitutes reality when its images have been stage-managed into baroque pageantry or quasi-Hollywood musicals by a delusional dictator?... Eschewing voice-over commentary, the film’s brilliant montage and subtle sound reconstruction create a sui generis film, lying somewhere between Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma and Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera. Four years in the making and culled from one thousand hours of archival footage – both state sanctioned and private – this spellbinding adventure unfolds as if from the nostalgic, solipsistic memory of Ceausescu himself.”
— Andréa Picard, Toronto International Film Festival