The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu

Director: Andrei Ujică
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 1.0

Ujică assembles hours of footage of former Romanian President Ceauşescu as he gives speeches, plays volleyball (poorly), watches parades march by, is treated by a ridiculously complex North Korean salute, tours a bread factory and so forth - of course, Ceauşescu was also a ruthless dictator who ran a police state that, in effect, tortured the Romanian populace for decades (the 'truth' of Nicolae's regime is purposely left 'off-screen'). The gist of what Ujică is going for can be gleaned rather quickly, leaving the viewer to suffer through these extended speeches and posturing - the running time is rather arbitrary, as once the viewer understands how Ujică is playing up the 'public persona' of Ceauşescu as a transparent mask for the cruelty of Ceauşescu's dictatorship, the entirety of this becomes rather redundant. Tactfully, Ujică omits the footage of Ceauşescu and his wife being shot in the head, but such footage can be seen on YouTube - the real tragedy is that this man was in power for so long and it took twenty plus years to get rid of him. For the 'human' side of Ceauşescu's Terror, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu is a fantastic place to start.