Videograms of a Revolution

  • Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujica
  • Germany
  • 1992
  • 106 min
  • Paradocs: Curated by Aernout Mik
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The 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. Images from the anti-communist revolution that unfolded in a matter of days were sparse in the media. Chaos and confusion reigned supreme. But this is not to say that no pictures exist of the events in Bucharest. The recently deceased artist Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica, a Romanian who fled to Germany, collected 125 hours of film made by 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 take each clip and indicate the moment it was shot, who made it and with what intention, camera position, image quality and anomalies. Some scenes in Videograms of a Revolution, of outraged demonstrators and the storming of the palace, recall October (1928), Sergei Eisenstein’s documentary-style story about the October Revolution in 1917. Eisenstein’s revolution was staged, however, while in Videograms of a Revolution everything is real. Nonetheless, it remains difficult to disassemble reality.

Credits

  • 106 min
  • color
  • 16mm
  • Spoken languages: Romanian
Director
Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujica
Production
Harun Farocki for Harun Farocki Filmproduktion
Editing
Egon Bunne
Screenplay
Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujica
World Sales
Harun Farocki Filmproduktion
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IDFA history

2014
Screened
Paradocs: Curated by Aernout Mik

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IDFA history