#83 – Christmas Day, 1989

(1991, Fr, 102 min) Dir Remy Disco.

Produced by the Remy Disco’s Institut de Réalisme Fictive (Institute of Fictional Realism) during its nineties heyday along with their restaged compilation of Gulf War I related speeches, their nine-hour dramatization of Gorbachev’s three day house arrest during the 1991 coup and many other political moments of the era. The whole of the film is essentially a staging via court documents of the trial that ended with Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu’s execution but, in keeping with the Institut’s aims to realise the fictitious (i.e. to render ‘fictitious’ events like the news ‘real’), the whole thing takes place in the offices of an insurance firm with the two leads an anonymous and disgruntled middle-aged couple. It’s all here from the Ceaușescu’s ten minute meeting with their council Nicu Teodorescu to them being led away to be shot, though the film doesn’t actually show this as Disco eschews the use of ‘conventional dramatic props’ like firearms. The effect is totally boring and not in a slow cinema transcendental boredom kind of way but then I think that’s the point of it, to recontextualise world-changing events in language so banal that they can be viewed in their most elemental form. Or something.

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