12:08 East of Bucharest (Romanian: A fost sau n-a fost?) is a 2006 Romanian film directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, released in 2006 and winner of the Camera d'Or Prize (for best first film) at the Cannes Film Festival. It was also released in the United States under the abridged titles East of Bucharest and 12:08 Bucharest. The film is set in the city of Vaslui, and centers on a group of characters who revisit the Romanian Revolution of 1989 which brought an end to the communist regime.
The full English title refers to the setting of the film and the time of day at which Romanian dictator 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.
Famous quotes containing the words bucharest and/or east:
“I had such a wonderful feeling last night, walking beneath the dark sky while cannon boomed on my right and guns on my left ... the feeling that I could change the world only by being there.”
—Viorica Butnariu, Rumanian student at Bucharest University. letter, Dec. 23, 1989, to American friend. Observer (London, Dec. 31, 1989)
“At length, having come up fifty rods off, he uttered one of those prolonged howls, as if calling on the god of loons to aid him, and immediately there came a wind from the east and rippled the surface, and filled the whole air with misty rain, and I was impressed as if it were the prayer of the loon answered, and his god was angry with me; and so I left him disappearing far away on the tumultuous surface.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)