12:08 East of Bucharest is a satirical and bitterly funny look at one of Romania’s most historic moments – the violent overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu. The movie, though, isn’t a historical fact-based documentation; rather, it is a mordant look at how the present rarely keeps track of the past, however important might they be insofar as the country’s historical determination is concerned. On the occasion of the sixteenth anniversary of the fall of the dictator, a small-time television channel owner attempts to find out whether the revolution ever took place at their town, with a Santa Claus dressing senile elderly man and a school teacher who is infamous in his community for his hard drinking, as the guests for the show.To make matters more ludicrous, every member, from the host and the guests to the dubious callers, have things other than the “revolution” on their minds. Filmed on a shoe-string budget and brilliantly enacted by the three protagonists, this is a movie that delights with its wry, deadpan humour and piercing insight. Though Ceausescu is a central theme for both, it hardly bears any resemblance to 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days;yet in their unflinching realism, audacity and bravado, they both represent the unheralded glory of today’s Romanian cinema.
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu Genre: Comedy/Social Satire/Political Satire/Farce/Slice of Life Language: Romanian Country: Romania