A FOST SAU N-A FOST
Corneliu Porumboiu: I saw a televised debate about it five years ago, in my hometown of Vaslui in the East of Romania. The question of the day was: was there, or was there not a revolution in our town? Three people were arguing over how the events unfolded at the time. This subject has been bouncing around in my head for five years. Then in May last year, I finished writing a screenplay that I'd been working on for two years, that I was still not happy with. So I began writing 12:08 East of Bucharest, using these three characters that I had seen on television as inspiration. lt was a sort of therapy to distance myself from the other screenplay. To my great surprise, I finished it one month later. I was so happy with it I decided to begin filming as soon as possible.
Where were you when the communist regime collapsed?
I was fourteen at the time and I remember it very well. The day the regime feil, I was playing ping-pong outside while my parents sat glued to the television set. I came back into the house just after the crucial moment examined in my film: because at 12:08pm, where we lived in the country, everyone was watching live as Ceasescu fled.
Why is a young filmmaker like yourself interested in this moment of history?
The revolution had a profound impact on me. At the time, I thought I would end up working as an engineer in a factory. The revolution completely changed my prospects, as it did for other Romanians... The TV programme that inspired the film, showed how the revolution of 22 December 1989 did not spread to my town, Vaslui. People went out in the streets only after learning about the events in Bucharest. Suddenly, they realized that this was a radical upheaval. That said, there is nothing autobiographic in this film.
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Corneliu Porumboiu
Written by: Corneliu Porumboiu
Cinematography: Marius Panduru, Marius Panduru
Cast: Mircea Andreescu (Piscoci), Teodor Corban (Jderescu), Ion Sapdaru (Manescu)
Nominations and Awards
- People's Choice Award 2007
- European Screenwriter 2006
- Feature Film Selection 2006