The next screening will be a compelling documentary by one of Germany’s finest documentary film directors, Harun Farocki about the revolution in Romania, in 1989


(1992, 106 min., dir. Harun Farocki, co-author Andrei Ujica, English version)


TIME: 5.00 p.m.

VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing, 1st Floor, German Programme, Media Room F251

About the film:

“The revolution will not be televised”, sang Gil Scott Heron in 1970. Yet a bare 20 years later, in December of 1989, live TV cameras followed the overthrow of Nicolae Ceauşescu’s regime in Romania. In ten tense days, a popular rebellion overthrew the government, executed the ruler, and occupied the television network. Factions of the rebellion broadcast these events continuously for 120 hours. In VIDEOGRAMS OF A REVOLUTION, Harun Farocki teams up with Andrej Ujica to condense and shape over 125 hours of amateur and professional video into a document that concisely chronicles the fall of Ceaucescu. The result is a unique documentary in which media spectacle was turned into history and then history turned into drama. As chilling as Eisenstein’s October, VIDEOGRAMS OF A REVOLUTION reveals the way ordinary images become extraordinary history. (

The reproducibility of political and historical processes plays a central role in Harun Farocki’s film. He tackles the issue of using the film medium, without resorting to undue simplification or distortion, to portray complex events, many of which result from decisions made in secret and therefore outside the spectrum of what can be filmed. Farocki questions how we can get the material to speak to us without pressing it into the service of our own interests. In “Videogram of a Revolution” Farocki and Ujica rely on images that were a result of the revolution itself. The film is composed entirely of footage shot in Bucharest and Timişoara during the brief few days of the coup. Some of it was shot by amateurs with their own private cameras, some of it using state television equipment after the broadcaster had been taken over by democratic forces. Harun Farocki wrote a text titled “Substandard” as a complement to the ideas contained in the film. There he wrote, “because our narrative is made up of found footage, because the people both in front of and behind the cameras weren’t subject to any central directorial instructions, it seems as if history is creating itself before our eyes”. That is why not only Romania’s Central Committee, but also its television studios were a key location in the radical changes that took place. (Goethe-Institut)

The film will be screened in the English version (with German subtitles).

Pre-announcement: The following screening on Monday 9th of June will be our last one in this semester. As usual, we’ll have a Bring and Share … AND the movie is a comedy!!! Yay!

Looking forward to seeing you on both shows!

Kind regards



Dr Marion Pape

German Studies

University of KwaZulu-Natal

School of Arts

Durban, 4041


Tel: 0027-31-260 1086 / 2380

Fax: 0027-31-260 1242


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