Built around amateur videos, demonstration footage and excerpts from a demonstrator-controlled Bucharest TV studio in late December 1989, this rigorous chronology of the Romanian uprising that overthrew dictator Nicolae Ceausescu shows clearly, and often with real suspense, how the mediated image not only records but engenders historic change. The studio was occupied for 120 unbroken hours and became a courtroom/interrogation centre/report hub for the seismic events unfolding outside. A Marker-esque voice-over occasionally guides our reading, but it’s left primarily to the images to narrate themselves, and they offer a ringside seat for this revolution of the image. Watch out for the extraordinary moment early on when the state newscaster coughs slightly after reading out some blatant double-speak a ministerial suicide, marking perhaps the moment when it all starts to unravel.
Harun Farocki was born in Novi Jicín in 1944 in what is today the Czech Republic. He studied at the German Cinematic and Television Academy (DFFB) in Berlin, from which he was expelled in 1968 for political reasons. In addition to writing theoretical texts, he has scripted numerous films and television productions. His work was shown at Documenta 12 in Kassel and in numerous international retrospectives and has received many awards.
Farocki’s early films are marked by ideas of a cultural revolution as formulated by the increasingly radical Left of the time and are explicitly developed as effective means of political propaganda. In this way, “Inextinguishable Fire” (1968/69) seizes upon the Vietnam War as one of the quintessential themes of the student movement. While his politically-motivated educational films subject the audience to an analytical and consciousness-raising agenda, the subsequent auctorial, essayistic, and documentary films call for a more active reception on… read more
Andrei Ujică (born 1951 in Timişoara, Romania) is a Romanian screenwriter and director. Ujicǎ studied literature in Timişoara, Bucharest and Heidelberg. He moved to Germany in 1981. In 1990 he began making films. Together with Harun Farocki, he created Videograms of a Revolution, a film which has become a standard work in Europe when referring to relationships between political power and the media and the end of the Cold War, and which was listed by the magazine Les Cahiers du Cinema as one of the top 10 subversive films of all time.
His next work, Out of the Present, told the story of the cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov who spent 10 months on board MIR, while back on Earth, the Soviet Union collapsed. The film has been compared to classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris and is considered one of the non-fiction cult films of the 1990s. His latest work, Unknown Quantity, creates a fictional conversation between Paul Virilio and Svetlana Alexievich, author… read more
second..there is so much to say. to start with- film also hides history. it's a common error even in romania saying that ion iliescu, the guy who seized power after ceausescu's fall, wa a dissident. a dissident and period. that amounts to placing him on the same lever with eliade and doina cornea. the infamous criminal i.iliescu was an anti-ceauşist dissident,never anti-communist, let alone anti-soviet.the reason he
was removed from the direct exercise of power by ceausescu was his commitment to the goal the soviet egencies imposed on him. but removal was not prison, but the command of an important publishing house. ceausescu never had the guts to actually annihillate those proven to be soviet agents, in spite of his playing the nationalist or the opponent in the problem of czechoslovakia. in short, teh revolution in romania started as a revolution but degenerated into a coup d'etat. it was prepared months before by ilescu and his gang of bastards, who were "re-activated" (re-emerged from their quasi-obscure positions that their serving the soviets sent them into) after the fall of ceausescu. it was more of a palace conspiration than a genuine mass movement. iliescu was never interested to have a population's sponaneous revolt in bucharest, that lasted days and nights continuously. he opened prisons, released those condemned not politically, but as criminals and thus shut people back into their houses. terrorist hysteria was bullshit to amplify the panic. so, post-revolutionary romania was nothing more than pre-revolutionary, governed by anti-ceausist dissidents that took care that no real dissident ever shared the power with them. it's the same pile of crap. the media never presented him as the hideous criminal he is, he denied organizing the mineriads, is the honorary president of a leading romanian party - the social-democrats and has all the chances to be honored by national funerals upon his death. film records history, but rarely makes it happen , at least in this part of the world.
An overview of Farocki’s first American exhibition, at the MoMA, and a simultaneous retrospective in New York.
"The idea was to record and respond to the political and culture climate as instantaneously as possible — and, one assumes, intervene