A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest) (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest) (2007)



Critic Consensus: With a witty script full of satirical overtones and dry humor, 12:08 East of Bucharest is a thoroughly enjoyable Romanian comedy.

A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Gil-Scott Heron once wrote "the revolution will not be televised," but one Romanian newsman attempts to put his nation's revolution on the air after the fact in this satiric comedy from writer and director Corneliu Porumboiu. It's the sixteenth anniversary of the revolt that removed Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu from power in Romania, and Jderescu (Ion Sapdaru) is the host of a televised public affairs show who wants to do a special program on the revolution. Jderescu's idea is to bring on a handful of ordinary citizens to discuss their role in Ceausescu's overthrow and how their lives have changed since Communist rule was swept from Romania. However, Jderescu can only round up two guests for his broadcast -- elderly Piscoci (Mircea Andreescu), who's more interested in playing Santa Claus for the neighborhood kids than talking politics, and Manescu (Teo Corban), a schoolteacher nursing a brutal hangover. As Jderescu tries to lead a serious discussion of how Romania has changed since Ceausescu was driven from power, the conversation wanders off on a tangent about where the revolution actually took place, and the waters become even more muddied when Jderescu opens up the phone lines for questions from viewers, most of whom have their own distinct (and strongly conflicting) memories of the Revolution . . . and one of which has a bone to pick with Manescu over some drunken insults he hurled the night before. A Fost Sau n-a Fost? (aka 12:08 East of Bucharest) received its North American premier at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Corneliu Porumboiu
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 9, 2007

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Mircea Andreescu
as Emanoil Piscoci
Teo Corban
as Virgil Jderescu
Ion Sapdaru
as Tiberiu Manescu
Mirela Cioaba
as Mrs Manescu
Luminita Gheorghiu
as Mrs Jderescu
Daniel Badale
as Professor
Aurelia Tocu
as Voice of Vasile Rebe...
Ion Ciolacu
as Voice of Ion Castach...
Lucian Pinzaru
as Voice of Costica Bej...
Corneliu Negrea
as Voice of Gelu Isares...
Coca Bloos
as Voice of Tina
Marian Catalin Avasi...
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Marian Ciprian Birzo...
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Alexandru Cāntea
as Member of Grupul Rot...
George Robert Criste...
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Tudor Danaila
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Andrei Danaila
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Victor Alexandru Dia...
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Silviu Costel Dula
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Sergiu Leonte
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Daniel Popa
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Iulian Suru
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Remus Vatamanu
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Andra Roxana Talmaci...
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Romeo Talmaciu
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Carmen Lenuta Trufia
as Member of Grupul Rot...
Mihai Basescu
as Member of Grupul Rot...
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News & Interviews for A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest)

Critic Reviews for A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest)

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (19)

Dry comedies from eastern Europe tend to cast a skeptical eye on anything and everything, which is certainly the case with Corneliu Porumboiu's debut feature.

Full Review… | December 4, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

12:08 East of Bucharest is easier to admire than enjoy, funnier to describe than actually watch.

Full Review… | November 30, 2007
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Porumboiu's satire about history and short memories is a modest, deadpan masterpiece.

Full Review… | October 6, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

12:08 East of Bucharest cleverly takes on the aftermath of the December 1989 revolution in Romania that resulted in the overthrow of Nicolae Ceaucescu. It's a movie that seems simple, yet its subtle and brilliant complexity is not to be denied.

Full Review… | September 14, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Black comedy with a subtle political edge.

Full Review… | August 17, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Live television going down in flames is always good for a laugh.

Full Review… | August 16, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest)

Romanian films are certainly where it's at. The past 5 years have thrown up simple yet engaging works unmatched by the majority of the world. They have the ability to comment on Romanian society, with a sense of dark humour and without being too preachy. 12:08 East from Bucharest tells of a small town and whether or not it had anything to do with the 1989 revolution. The film sets up it's three protagonists and the world they live in. It manages to use the small town setting to it's advantage as we get a lot of back-story through the townsfolk recollections of each other. Over half the film is a TV broadcast, making it almost static, given humourous life by an incompetent cameraman and his less than adequate tripods. Luckily the dialogue, bickering and mystery is enough to keep the audience fully entertained. It's amazing how brilliantly scripted dialogue can be more enthralling than car chases, explosions and slapstick. The cinematography is also beautiful, with an exceptional silent climax as the streetlights come alive at dusk.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

One of the funniest films of 2007.

Michael S

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"12:08 East of Bucharest" has two things in common with other Romanian movies I have seen in the last couple of years:[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]1. The favoring of long, static takes.(To highlight this, there is a running joke about handheld cameras.)[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]2. The movie takes place in a single day.(What is up with this, by the way?)[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]This day is December 22, 2005, the 16th anniversary of the end of Communist rule in Romania. To commemorate this, Virgil Jderescu(Teodor Corban), a former textile engineer, is hosting a special program at his television station on the events of that day in the town he lives in. As guests, he has Tiberiu Manescu(Ion Sapdaru), an alcoholic university professor, and Emanoil Piscoci(Mircea Andreescu) who has just been drafted into being the neighborhood Santa Claus again.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"12:08 East of Bucharest" is a deadpan comic movie that is about a television show that lies somewhere between bad public access television and Monty Python. On the serious side, the movie is also a meditation on the role of history in everyday lives. The world in general may change but life goes on. And it is clear that nothing much has improved for these characters in the past sixteen years. [/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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