After the Revolutions
What happens with citizens and countries after revolutions? What are the processes, painful and unjust at times, they endure in order to leave a system behind and replace it with another, one they wished was newer and better? To what extent do the transition periods differ and to what extent are they similar, regardless of the respective culture the revolution might have arisen in? Can it ever be possible to successfully and totally change the way a society functions and, if so, under what circumstances?
These are just a few of the questions the documentaries featured in this programme attempt — either directly or indirectly — to answer. Whether we find ourselves in Libya, after the fall of Muammar al-Gadaffi’s dictatorship, or in 1986 Uruguay, 12 years after the military dictatorship, or in ex-Communist countries — such as Serbia, Croatia or Russia — many years after the decline of the previous regimes, all these different states of affairs share some common features. Everywhere in the world, revolutions have been followed by dangerous years, when the moral, economic and legislative bankruptcy have either led to grisly civil wars, or to the establishment of autocratic regimes, similar to the dictatorship they were meant to replace. Extremely rarely, slowly and with great difficulty has it ever been the case that these countries would wholly, or at least partly adopt the democratic principles and structures which the initiators and supporters of the respective revolutions seemed to aspire to. And very often, when faced with all manner of obstacles against the transformation process, has their enthusiasm and momentum been replaced along the way with skepticism and discouragement, making way for other political forces and other ideas for rebuilding society.
All contexts shown in the films featured in this programme are relevant to Romania’s situation after 1989 and shed light over some important aspects of the long transition process towards democracy, a process we are already very familiar with. By comparing our reality to that of other post-revolution societies and cultures, we hope to acquire a more nuanced understanding of such a complex political phenomenon. And we hope that optimism and a new belief in the wind of change will replace in many of us the pervading pessimism casting a shadow over the certainty that the revolution which took place 30 years ago was a success.