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

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

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½ May 22, 2014
Dry humor everywhere, this is a potrayal of small town people trying to put the dots of history in their own town.
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2013
A tremendously funny film about recollection but moreso how we often develop stories in order to make us part of larger events or experiences. A true gem.
December 7, 2012
Would like to see at some stage.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2012
This is a satire so well done that most of the time you won't even notice how many things ridicules at the same time! Romanian cinema is on a roll, and most of the films are like this one - warmly naturalistic emphasizing character and performance over formal mastery. There is a style but the real virtuosity is more expressed through very witty long conversations, allowed to play out in precisely composed frames. A real treat to enjoy!

The director Corneliu Porumboiu won the 2006 Camera d'Or Prize (for best first film) at the Cannes Film Festival for this really seriously funny story set in the city of Vaslui, centering on a group of characters who revisit the Romanian Revolution of 1989 which brought an end to the communist regime. Just imagine TV show with a smug TV host Ion Sapdaru and the two men who eventually agree to help Sapdaru: drunken, deep-in-debt history teacher Teo Corban, and grumpy old Santa Claus impersonator Mircea Andreescu...These guys made me laugh even when they were dead serious! The full English title refers to the setting of the film and the time of day at which Romanian president Nicolae Ceauşescu fled following the revolution, 12:08 pm on December 22, 1989. The original Romanian title roughly translates to "Was There or Wasn't There?", referring to the film's central issue: did Vaslui have any part in the 1989 revolution? The answer depends on whether the city registered any protest before the moment of Ceauşescu's flight...

If you like to question many things and still enjoy a slyly comic tone with lots of self-mockery, I will recommend this work of art!
½ October 10, 2012
unconventional, very dry humour, quite enjoyable
April 19, 2012
I dont care to watch.
February 13, 2012
I'm depressed that there are no revolutions that I can claim to have started. Does getting a hotmail account in 1995 count as being a starter of the internet revolution? I hope so. That would make me feel better.
½ January 6, 2012
Amuzant si extrem de cotidian, un exemplu excelent de umor romanesc.
½ June 28, 2011
Loved this! A slow moving amusing film. The characters have been well observed.
½ May 6, 2011
Funny film, interesting subject and some odd characters. It was worth a watch.
½ February 26, 2011
While this is billed as a comedy, I did not find it that funny -- more along the lines of sobering. The tv show host wants to retrace local history by discovering if his home town had a revolution or not -- and he gets conflicting accounts. The movie is slowish, and nothing much appears to happen, but all of it was made up for me in the last five minutes of the movie that turn it into a rather stunning statement about the revolution.
February 6, 2011
Another Romanian comedy film that isn't particularly funny but is rather brilliant. The humour is so dry with such deadpan delivery of the excellent script that this farce actually feels more like a piece of cinematic realism. Beautifully and cleverly shot.
½ January 18, 2011
Rumanía es un país tan destartalado como hermoso e intersante. Desde allí empiezan a llegar películas de corte realista que reflejan el presente del país y reflexionan sobre su pasado reciente, como la demoledora Cuatro meses, tres semanas y dos días de Cristian Mungiu o esta curiosa 12:08 al Este de Bucarest. Corneliu Porumboiu arroja su particular luz sobre la revolución de 1989, utilizando como vehículo ficticio un delirante programa de debate realizado por la televisión local de una pequeña ciudad rumana. Una comedia amarga, con muchas capas de lectura a pesar de su aparente sencillez.
December 12, 2010
There are those who wonder why this little movie won the highest prize at Cannes, I am not one of them. It is so refreshingly down-to-earth funny and razor sharp at the same time, with very likeable central performances.
October 26, 2010
War es oder war es nicht? Gab es eine Revolution, bevor Nicolae Ceausecu um 12.08 Uhr in den Helikopter stieg und floh? Ein abgewrackter, saufender Lehrer behauptet, schon um halb zwölf vor Ort gewesen zu sein und mit drei Kollegen demonstriert zu haben ... Corneliu Poromboiu zeichnet mit sarkastischer Komik ein Gesellschaftsporträt im Spiegel einer Trash-TV-Sendung, wählt daf 1/4r eine bewusst unscheinbare filmische Form, die er aber beeindruckend stilsicher in Szene setzt. "Jeder muss die Revolution machen, die er kann."
½ September 29, 2010
After a slow start, it builds into one of the most deliciously dark comedies I've seen in a while. LOL.
½ September 4, 2010
Romanian film, with excellent photography and a sarcastic humor. Good movie
August 20, 2010
i wanted to like this film, clearly it was about an important issue in romanias history told through the medium of dry humour, unfortunately it was so dry it left me gasping
½ August 11, 2010
Revolution on a small romanian town...? Very colorful characters..!
July 23, 2010
Recommended by GiovannyTG
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