School of Resistance The Last Days of the Ceausescus
Watch the recording of the discussion here
The images of the sentencing and execution of the Ceausescus in 1989 have left an indelible mark on the collective unconscious of several generations of television viewers as an event making world history. In the winter of 2009/2010, the IIPM brought this foundational event in the fall of communism to numerous stages in Romania, Germany and Switzerland as a staging in Romanian with 16 actors. Based on authentic video documents and witness accounts, the last and most famous show trial in European history was reenacted in faithfully recreated settings.
The project resulted in a lawsuit against the IIPM by the last living son of the dictators, setting off a broad discussion about the freedom of art and the handling of history. A controversy that has not lost intensity to this day. Because of the trial and despite its nomination for the Prix de Soleure, among others, the film The Last Days of the Ceausescus has rarely been made available to the public.
The panel following the screening discussed possible ways of reconstructing and representing the past as well as opportunities for artistic interventions in the present. Together with Eyal Weizmann (Forensic Architecture), Andrei Ujica (director of Videograms of a Revolution), Milo Rau (director of The Last Days of the Ceausescus) and Academy member Matthias Lilienthal (dramaturge and curator), Martin Valdés-Stauber questioned reenactment as a means of coming to terms with the past and the present.
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