Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu gave his last-ever public speech on December 21, 1989, from the balcony of the enormous People’s House in Bucharest. Five days later he was executed, together with his wife Elena. Media images from the revolution that unfolded in a matter of days were sparse. Chaos and confusion reigned supreme.
Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica collected 125 hours of film made by both amateurs and official news gatherers. From this huge diversity of perspectives, they distilled a reconstruction of the popular uprising. With meticulous attention to the facts, they took each clip and indicated the moment it was shot, who made it and with what intention, camera position, image quality, and anomalies.
Scenes of outraged demonstrators and the storming of the palace, recall October (1928), Sergei Eisenstein’s documentary-style story about the Russian October Revolution in 1917. Eisenstein’s revolution was staged, however, while Videograms of a Revolution shows images of a reality that remains difficult to disentangle.