Romania -

Romania -

The IT industry, the 1989 uprising, trendy fashion from Timişoara, Ceauşescu's death, salary increases for the workers at Dacia, former Securitate members as entrepreneurs, the desire for Nike and Adidas, a memorial to the victims of Communism, the soup kitchen for those who cannot afford Western European prices, and images of murder victims. The documentary on Romania consists of a series of rapid cuts between very different images. Generally speaking, this film is about the "unfinished revolution" – the fact that although dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu was executed in 1989, the same elites remained at the top and the secret service Securitate continued to control the fate of the Romanian people.

In between these images, director Robert Neumüller inserts examples of the economic and social development of this recent addition to the EU bandwagon. But he repeatedly returns to his main theme. Showing brutal scenes like naked bodies perforated by shots, he paints a harsh picture of the year 1989, a past that still lingers in the present. In Timişoara, the city in the west of Romania where the so-called revolution started in the winter of 1989, 153 people were killed during that time alone. Prison sentences for the killers turned out to be rather short. And then, very few people in powerful positions ended up being held accountable for the disappearance of thousands of opponents of the regime in penitentiaries. In the 1990s, after the "revolution", Securitate generals got rich off the privatisation process. Today, many of them are multi-millionaires, as university professor Marcel Tolcea informs us.

Writer Ana Blandiana does not approve of the fact that Romania was allowed to join the EU without first being made to work through its past, as is being required of the countries of the former Yugoslavia. "The EU and NATO accepted us even though the Securitate still had a strong grip on everything. Our accession had nothing to do with a genuine change towards a more ethical society." Blandiana believes that macro-economic and geopolitical motivations were behind the accession to the EU.

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"Of course there are also problems. But we are coping with them". © 2008 pre tv. All rights reserved.

If you would like to watch the complete film please go to ESI's Youtube page.

Article Eight of the Proclamation of Timişoara has still not been met twenty years after the overthrow. It stipulates that members of the Securitate and Communist cadres should be banned from holding public office in the new democracy. Return to Europe also notes that today hardly anyone seems to be interested in reflecting on the Communist past.

And yet there are exceptions. Prof. Tolcea and some colleagues have founded the initiative "Enough". They campaign for a democratically minded faculty and have asked colleagues to disclose any affiliations they may have had with the Securitate. One remarkable consequence of their activities was the resignation of the university's rector. So the viewer can see that the revolution in Romania is actually continuing, albeit with rather small steps – this is not something that is going to happen at all quickly.