Tedious in length, but fulfills the expectations of its title - creating a visual, archival recreation of Nicolae Ceaușescu's rise and fall. The film is quite useful when trying to understand political culture and the manipulation of media. Nonetheless, it was interesting to learn 66% of Romanians would still vote for Ceaușescu, according to opinion polls held in 2014.
Culled from both state sanctioned and private footage Ujica's film looks at the propagandistic images of Nicolae Ceausescu's rule of Romania from 1965 through 1989 (proclaimed president in '74). But even in these images one can see the faintest hint of the truth beneath which makes for fascinating viewing. Some sequences are awe inspiring in their 'Zelig' like nature as the dictator is accepted around the world.
With just a brief knowledge of the Ceausescu-era in Romania I found this hard to watch. As no comment whatsoever is given throughout the documentary, it's missing any context. And therefore becoming a collection of clips that are without any meaning.
At first watching, I notice this movie is constructed with found-footage & lack of any explanation. So, After studying about age of Ceausescu & seeing New Wave films, I re-watch and impressed with Highly matter-of fact, impressively chronological 3h documentary. Ostensibly propaganda of Ceausescu depicted, gradually something ominous appears. Finally, this movie questions me "What in the world was Ceausescu?"
A documentary of pure stock footage inside the vainglory,and farcical repetitious public affairs of a communist era dictator. Broader history occasional peaks in and fascinates, but the greater interest though is in trying to unpack the psychology of Ceausecu, and more broadly the psychology of individuals with an abusive amount of power. Still the repetition often drags on and tests patience to frustration.
The idea of the stock-footage-based documentary is excellent (albeit some context guidance would have helped). The historical showcase of dicatorship-in-process is really something (Venezuela anyone?); although seems there are clears gaps on the story been told, hinting at how Dis-Information can also be a bias in history documentation.