12.08 East of Bucharest
directed by Corneliu Porumboiu
How deep were the Eastern European revolutions of 1989 against the Stalinist dictatorships? That’s the question asked in 12.08 East Of Bucharest, a new film by director/writer Corneliu Porumboiu.
It’s a comic look at life in post-Communist Romania that won the Camera d’Or at last year’s Cannes film festival.
The story is set in an unnamed town, 16 years after the former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled from the capital Bucharest in the face of an uprising.
Jderescu, the head of an appalling, low-budget, provincial TV station, decides to commemorate the anniversary by hosting a discussion on whether or not there was a revolution in the town.
He ropes in an alcoholic, disillusioned teacher and a lonely old man as guests. A hilariously bad and embarrassing programme ensues.
The teacher claims he was in the town’s main square protesting against the regime – a version of events that is disputed by callers to the show.
At times the film suggests that history is a subjective affair and that no event is certain. But any such easy conclusions are undermined by the film’s poignant and uplifting ending.
Ian Brown featuring Sinead O’Connor
Go to the Stop the War Coalition’s website and you can catch an exclusive sneak preview of Illegal Attacks, the new single from former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown.
The song, which features Sinead O’Connor on backing vocals, is a bitter attack on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and calls for British troops to be withdrawn immediately.
Illegal Attacks will be released on 17 September and is the first single from Ian Brown’s fifth album The World Is Yours, which will be released the week after.