A compelling documentary film: Elena Ceausescu, Doctor Horroris Causa.


Part One (above) and Part Two (below).

Thanks to the Somerville Producers Group on Dead Air Live at Somerville Community Access TV, SCATV, for a documentary I hadn’t seen.

This film tells the story of communism in Romania during the Ceausescu era, with a concentration on the role played by Elena Ceausescu, wife of the despot, who was detested to an even greater degree than her husband.

The documentary is old, but includes testimony from numerous party insiders and a few dissidents, most of whom are now dead. There is a discussion of Nicolae Ceausescu’s health problems, something neglected in documentaries I’d previously viewed.

It isn’t pleasant, and accordingly, it must be seen to be believed.

Elena Ceausescu, Doctor Horroris Causa

Emil Busurca, The Netherlands, 1997

The reign of the Ceausescu clan (1965-1989) has been one of the darkest pages in Romanian history. Off stage Elena Ceausescu, Nicolae Ceausescu’s wife presided over this period of fear, terror, violation of human values and nation-wide poverty. Her life story will forever remain inconclusive: it dangles between fact and fiction, innuendo and certainty, exaggeration and slight hints. Her fate and that of her husband ran parallel with the fate of their regime, hard to imagine since it was so expertly screened off by the Romanian secret police, the Securitate. This film exposes the dramatical events, which led Elena Ceausescu to become the true powerholder in Romania during the last five years of Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship and which eventually led to her husbands downfall, resulting in a trial and their execution. At the same time it outlines the context of Ceausescu dictatorship, a context that starts long before World War II and ends with the revolt of the Romanian people in 1989. This documentary contains original footage from the Romanian State Archives, and most of it is shown here for the first time ever. Moreover, important witnesses from the Ceausescu-period speak frankly.