On Christmas Day, 1989, Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, Elsa, died by firing squad–the last people to be executed by the state. A brutal dictator, Ceaușescu had presided over the country for more than three decades, helming one of the most oppressive communist regimes in Eastern Europe. While press freedom and civil liberties characterized the beginning of his reign, dissent soon became a crime punishable by death. A fearsome propaganda machine amplified Ceaușescu’s power as he laid waste to a once prosperous nation, and turned neighbor against neighbor.
Crafted from over 1,000 hours of official state broadcasts and intimate home movies, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu is a tour-de-force political documentary, providing a glimpse inside the mind of an increasingly narcissistic and paranoid leader. Andrei Ujică's third documentary premiered at Cannes, Toronto, Reykjavik, IFFR - International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Bergen International Film Festival, where it won Best International Documentary.