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September 24, 2021

Ceausescu ‘autobiography’ – screened out of competition

Following Radu Muntean’s “Marti dupa Craciun” (“Tuesday, after Christmas”) and Cristi Puiu’s ‘Aurora’, a third Romanian film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, out of competition. Andrei Ujica’s ‘Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu’ mainly consists of edited archive footage detailing the life of Romania’s communist dictator since taking power in 1965 to his violent overthrow during the 1989 revolution.

“In the end, the dictator is only an artist who has the possibility to put his egocentrism into practices. It’s just a matter of esthetic level, may it be Baudelaire, Bolintineanu, Louis XVI or Nicolae Ceausescu,” Ujica said, quoted by daily ‘Evenimentul Zilei.’

He explained that he went through over 250 hours of footage on Ceausescu and eventually edited it into three hours of film. The hard work allowed the director to gain new insight into Ceausescu’s rule. “I can say for sure a change occurred: his image became more human. My entire youth, Ceausescu was like a screen on which I projected my hatred against any kind of totalitarianism. I lived under his rule since I was 14 until I turned 29 – when I left Romania. And all this time, he was nothing to me but the abstact object of opaque hatred,” Ujica explained.

Javier Bardem film “Biutiful” moves crowd

Death stalks the cast of “Biutiful”, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s moving portrayal of a father rushing to put his chaotic life in order before it is too late. Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem plays the central role in a Spanish-language drama set in the back streets of Barcelona, where immigrant workers live in squalor and struggle to survive in a world where they are treated like animals, Reuters reported. Bardem’s character Uxbal is part criminal hustler, part clairvoyant who has visions of people beyond their grave, but he is above all a father whose two children are torn between him and their negligent, clinically depressed mother.

Warm applause and plenty of tears at a press screening on Monday at the Cannes film festival, where the movie is in the main competition, suggest it is one of the early favourites for awards, with Bardem in the frame for best actor. Asked how he found the experience of playing a man troubled by ghosts, ill health and the mess of his personal and professional life, Bardem replied: “You’ve seen the movie, right? It’s intense. So the process has been very intense, but it’s been also very rewarding in the sense of going to places where an actor has to grow up as a professional.”

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