Year: 2006
USA: Tartan Films
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Mircea Andreescu, Teodor Corban, Ion Sapdaru, Luminita Gheorghiu, Constantin Dita, Mirela Cioaba, Cristina Ciofu, Lucian Iftime
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
Country: Romania
Language: Romanian (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 89 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 22 June 2007 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 15 June 2007 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 17 August 2007
US Distributor
UK Distributor


The whole country watched live on television as angry crowds forced Romanian dictator Ceausescu to flee Bucharest by helicopter. In a quiet town east of the capital, sixteen years since this historic day, the owner of the local TV station invites two guests to share their moments of revolutionary glory. One is an old retiree and sometime Santa Claus, the other a history teacher who has just devoted his entire salary to his drinking debts. Together they will remember the day when they stormed their town hall calling "down with Ceausescu". But phone-in viewers dispute the claims of the heroes, who may have been boozing in the bar or making Christmas preparations rather than rebelling in the streets.

From the director: Corneliu Porumboiu

"I saw a televised debate about it five years ago, in my hometown of Vaslui in the East of Romania. The question of the day was: was there, or was there not a revolution in our town? Three people were arguing over how the events unfolded at the time. This subject has been bouncing around in my head for five years. Then in May last year, I finished writing a screenplay that I'd been working on for two years, that I was still not happy with. So I began writing 12:08 East of Bucharest, using these three characters that I had seen on television as inspiration. It was a sort of therapy to distance myself from the other screenplay. To my great surprise, I finished it one month later. I was so happy with it I decided to begin filming as soon as possible."