(The Last Days of the Ceausescus)

2010 / Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin

By Milo Rau


The images of the sentencing and execution of the Ceausescus on 25 December 1989 etched themselves deeply into the collective unconscious of multiple generations of Western television viewers as a grim negative of the Velvet Revolutions. Milo Rau took this event as an occasion for extensive on-site research. The conversations he held with the military general who betrayed the Ceausescus, the soldier who shot them, and many other contemporary witnesses give rise to a panorama of the collapse of one of the most absurd and, at the same time, totalitarian regimes in world history. The reenactment of this last European show trial met with heated debate upon its preliminary staging in Romania. 


“The Last Days of the Ceausescus” brings together, in addition to the trial transcript and interview transcripts on the Romanian Revolution, a wealth of research and production documents from the project. Theoretical and topical contributions by Friedrich Kittler, Andrei Ujica, Heinz Bude, Gerd Koenen, Ion Iliescu, and others complete the richly illustrated volume.


“As shocking as it is thrilling and informative.” (Berliner Zeitung)

“A revealing documentary – as well as world-class theatre.” (Deutschlandradio Kultur)