Chuck Norris vs. Communism (2015) Movie Script

I was young,
about seven or eight years old.
And someone said,
Lets go to a video night!
It was thrilling.
The whole context was thrilling.
Watching foreign films for the first time,
almost illegal,
because they werent allowed.
At least I felt that we were
watching things we shouldnt see.
Mom wouldnt let me watch that film.
It was considered...
-Too erotic?
Why is he doing that to her skirt?
Whats that? Look at her.
Once Upon a Time in America
with Robert De Niro.
Pretty Woman.
The Protector.
Nine and a Half Weeks.
Goose, Goose Im on your tail.
Top Gun, wait a minute, Top Gun!
Speaking of serious, dramatic films,
I saw Top Gun 38 times.
I remember the first film I saw.
It was Last Tango in Paris
with Marlon Brando.
It was like being hit over the head!
I couldnt imagine
a film like that could exist.
I felt like I was struck by lightning!
And what a film to start with!
Thats when I realized
how far behind the West we were.
In Romania,
capitalism has lived its last day.
The people are the true masters
and will remain masters of their destiny
and the riches of the country.
Television went from 20 hours
of broadcasting on two channels
to one two-hour broadcast per day.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescus report,
a theoretical and practical contribution
meant to vigorously drive
economic and social life,
is the focus for the whole country.
To cut informative TV broadcasts
and to keep a population
of 20 million people,
to keep a whole country
in ignorance for years
is an act with very serious
long term consequences.
There was a crisis of films
in the cinema market,
but at the same time, the audience
had a huge appetite for films.
Then VHS films appeared,
video as we called it.
It felt amazing to do something illegal
during Communism,
something not communist.
Watching imperialist movies.
They were all dubbed by the same voice.
Films in English were
usually dubbed by Irina Nistor.
The whole country knew her voice,
but no one knew what she looked like.
Kiss me.
But youre sticky.
So what?
Its the most well known voice
in Romania after Ceausescus.
When I say, yes?
I really wanted to know
what she looked like.
I didnt even think she had a body.
She was pure consciousness
She was the voice.
You work on commission, right?
Big mistake!
She was an entity.
I imagined her dubbing films
in her kitchen, making soup or...
Yeah, you could hear noises.
A brunette with long hair
and really strong.
I always had a feeling she was blonde.
Very beautiful.
She has this warm voice, a soft tone.
Thats how I saw her...
A feline, a model.
Thats how I imagined Irina Nistor.
Incredibly beautiful.
Like a voice from a choir of angels.
In the 80s, I worked as a film translator
for Romanian State Television.
I didnt fit in there.
I didnt like it. I often had to translate
for the Ideological Commission.
It was a censorship committee that decided
what to broadcast and what to cut.
New Jersey, three months earlier.
Mom, I dont want to go to school.
Mrs. Wardrobe is impossible.
-I dont want to discuss this.
-No, cut this.
Mom, well be late.
Too much food.
Products, look, look!
Whats the message?
That the West is a land of prosperity?
I dont think so.
-So were cutting this?
-Of course we are.
Mac, what are you doing?
To start with, I managed to find a TV.
I paid 20,000 LEI for this color TV.
It was a Sharp TV made in Japan.
The second step
was getting a video player.
A video player cost as much
as a Dacia car.
It was the equivalent of a new Dacia.
55,000 LEI.
-We started around 1985, I think.
When your husband went to Germany
and he brought a video player.
You couldnt buy a video player
in our shops.
They came in the evening,
around 20 people at first, young and old.
Then word spread
that I was screening films.
By morning I could have
around 2,000-3,000 LEI,
and a monthly salary at the time
was 2,000 LEI.
Video night at Barbus.
-What is it?
-Something with Chuck Norris.
-What time?
-8:00. See you there.
Ill go tell the others.
-Wed talk like this...
-Yes, lets see a film.
At street corners, whispering.
Hey, can you make it?
Evening. Barbus showing films tonight.
-Yes? When?
-Hows your mom?
-Good, thanks.
Theres a video night at Barbus tonight.
Come to Barbus,
hes showing films tonight.
Chuck Norris, action films.
8:00, at Barbus.
So the first film I saw...
in a one-bedroom apartment.
It smelled of mildew,
but none of that mattered.
A clock,
somewhere in the hallway, ticking.
-What are you doing here, Bogdan?
-Im here for the screening.
-You got money?
-I do.
People had a strong desire to know,
to learn about a society
that was forbidden.
We were all breathing in and out
at the same time, in the same rhythm.
And when the film started,
we would all savor every image.
Even the credits
at the beginning of the film.
Lone Wolf McQuade.
Chuck Norris gets a terrible beating.
And they lock him in his car.
An excavator digs a hole.
And they push him into the hole
with the car and cover him.
Then he wakes up, obviously.
And says, Ive got to get out of here.
No panic. No anger. He was in control.
I thought it was real.
I see myself,
mouth wide open, eyes peeled.
Its okay, well make it.
Of course I can do it! You can do it!
And he started the car.
And he got out!
Comrade Nistor.
-Do you have two minutes?
One day I was at work
and a colleague approached me.
A comrade is looking for a collaborator.
He has these new films
and he needs someone talented
like you to translate them.
I couldnt believe he was talking to me
where anyone could hear.
What films?
New ones.
He mentioned American films and VHS tapes,
of course I was immediately intrigued.
It was my only chance to see these movies.
Even if I knew there were risks.
The regime was becoming more suspicious
and afraid of sabotage.
So they were using fear,
the psychosis of surveillance,
which made people
watch their own behavior.
It made them suspicious of others
and probably made them
inform on one another.
Come in.
We went down to the basement,
which I thought was strange.
Good evening.
Good evening.
Im Engineer Zamfir.
You must be Irina Nistor.
Sit down please.
He gave me a test,
I had to dub Doctor Zhivago.
Please put your headphones on.
Are you the poet?
I used to admire your poetry.
Thank you.
I shouldnt admire it anymore.
I should consider it absurdly personal.
He seemed stern and very pragmatic.
He knew exactly what he wanted.
And it had to be done really quickly,
so he could make a decision.
I had no idea how long it was to last,
if it was for one film or for more.
I didnt know.
What would you like to be paid?
We started to negotiate
and I asked for 100 LEI.
That was the price of an Austrian
chocolate bar on the black market.
And he said,
No worries, Ill give you 200!
The future belongs
to socialism, communism,
to a world without imperialists
and capitalists.
Anything on TV was just as awful
as the food you could get to eat.
Everyone spoke about the same things,
about the endless lines,
about not having anything,
about the struggle to get things.
Everything was rationed, but not by us.
It came from above.
And whether we liked it or not,
we had to dance to their tune.
Raising the revolutionary,
socialist awareness.
We couldnt talk on the bus, for example,
about the amazing films we saw on video.
Because you never knew
who was sitting next to you.
It was underground.
Probably for the simple fact
that we were watching something
other than what was on TV.
Because what was on TV
was clearly just propaganda.
So even if we were watching films
with explosions and fights,
it was different from their propaganda.
Action films were fundamental for us boys.
You had all the Chuck Norris films.
Then the Van Damme films.
Like Bloodsport where Frank Dux
and Chong Li have an amazing fight.
I think we learned a lot,
Rambo was fighting bad men.
Chuck Norris went to save his friends,
risking a rat on his head.
The films changed what you thought,
what you were looking for,
what you were interested in.
You developed through films.
In Rocky I, hed wake up at 5:00 AM.
Hed put on that shabby
old tracksuit with a hood.
And hed go out for a run. Hed train.
And little me, who wanted to become big...
I set my alarm for 5:00.
Im not kidding!
I mixed the eggs.
God, it was awful, but I drank it.
I dressed warm like him, to sweat,
took two weights in my hands
and went for it.
There was a freshness and novelty...
that influenced you in so many ways.
From seeing the clothes,
the attitudes, the gestures...
We all wanted to have Rambos knife
with the needle and thread and all.
There was a whole life
in the video player.
We were watching films on videotape,
illegally copied from originals.
They were smuggled in illegally
and it was illegal to watch them.
I dont know where they got them.
There was a group of people who did this.
I dont know how they got the tapes.
People said they were coming on boats.
I would go or send someone to bring
new films two or three times a year.
You need courage to get in a car
and drive to get films
from an unknown world.
Open the trunk.
Take this.
Get lost!
I had an arrangement
with the border patrol
like for cigarette and drug trafficking
all over the world.
Not for one moment did I imagine
how big and valuable this would become.
No, theres no point discussing this one.
Look at all the meat!
Next one.
It was yet another endless meeting
at the Ideological Commission.
We were watching an episode of Nu, Pogodi!
A Russian animation.
Wait, stop!
Rewind that bunny.
What happened?
Look, three balloons,
red, yellow and blue.
Unfortunately, the bunny
was carrying three balloons,
in the exact colors of the Romanian flag.
It had to disappear because it looked like
the Russians were controlling Romania.
What example are we setting
for our children? Think of the message.
Were cutting it.
It was totally absurd.
Translating for Zamfir,
I wasnt required to censor anything.
I could say priest.
Stinking communist.
I could say Easter.
I could name any saint.
Father Christmas.
It seemed like a way to be free
and to spite the regime.
It was a way to win a battle.
At the time, I felt it made a difference.
She would never translate swear words.
Or anything connected to sex.
People would swear quite a bit
and wed hear Holy Moly.
And shed say, Go to hell.
The dirty words
were translated as Go to hell.
-To hell, yes.
-Thats what she said.
-No matter what crap they were saying...
-And also Get lost.
Get lost.
Go to hell or Get lost.
He tells her...
Irina Nistor says,
I was thinking, I love you, I need you
and you know what, go to hell!
Go to hell!
You moron!
Get out of my sight, you bacon fat!
Get lost!
Youre all idiots. You know why?
There was a secret police agent
in the TV station, Comrade Orzan.
We often met in the elevator
going to the same place.
Wed go up and I remember
each time hed say...
I heard you last night.
My stomach was tied in a knot.
Is he going to bring me in?
What film did he see?
The one where I said stinking communist?
It was the perfect way
to keep me on a knifes edge.
We did everything
without the authorities approval.
I can say it was all done...
quietly, underground.
My parents told me not to talk
about our video player in school.
They said its better that it should
remain a secret, but didnt explain why.
It was the attitude we all perceived,
to keep it obscure
and not talk about it.
I felt that everything was
under surveillance and controlled.
They knew everything, every step you made.
Zamfir suspected everybody
of being in the secret police.
He asked me every day,
Are you sure youre not one of them?
Irina Nistor was definitely connected
or had access to the secret services.
I never doubted that.
Because of the confidence and courage
she displayed when dubbing.
She was translating,
listening, talking and...
She understood everything!
She would have made a great spy.
She could have finished me.
I have to confess I also suspected him.
He had that schooling, that way about him,
the cold politeness
you couldve done without.
Theyre my horses, bastards!
One night Zamfir drove me home.
What do they want?
And something happened
which made me almost certain
that he was in the secret police.
How dare you stop me!
I am Colonel Zamfir.
Salute me.
Yes, sir.
So the policeman backed off in silence.
And I froze and kept my mouth shut.
When he got back into the car he said...
Why are you smiling?
To be honest, I didnt want to know
if Zamfir was in the secret police.
I took advantage.
It happened a few times.
But I could never have been a Colonel.
Come on, a beat officer,
I couldve told him anything
and hed buy it.
I had special license plates,
always wore a suit and tie.
Also my age helped, so yes,
I took advantage and I lied.
Esteemed viewers,
today, in the Palace Hall
of the Romanian Socialist Republic,
the National Conference of the Romanian
Communist Party has begun,
a highly important and significant moment
for the party and the country.
Romania was closed at the time,
people werent allowed passports.
Every year the situation deteriorated,
the political pressure intensified.
The divide between the regime
and the people was growing.
I think the regime was afraid
of spontaneous assembly.
Thats whats dangerous.
In an organized assembly,
certain topics come up.
In spontaneous assembly,
the topics are free.
Theres this joke,
a guy is on the bus with a bag
and he keeps shaking it.
People say Whats in there?
He says, Mice.
What are you doing?
Im not letting them organize.
For regular people, video nights were...
I dont know, the one thing
that helped us survive.
As teenagers, everything we knew
about pop culture and films
came from watching illegal videocassettes.
Youd stop following the film
because you were so impressed
by the houses,
by the shops packed
with food and sweets, wow!
Just the fact that you could see a car
that youd never see here.
There was no way youd see
a Lamborghini on the street.
For women,
it was an inspiration for fashion.
Theyd see the latest fashions
from elsewhere.
We didnt have any TV shows about fashion.
Not knowing what it was like there,
we were hungry for films
that took place in New York
or in Acapulco, like the Elvis films,
or in Paris.
We craved them and marveled
at the landscape and streets,
rather than the action, many times.
I was astonished, Look at the apartments
Americans have, incredible!
Look how big their cars are,
the streets!
It was a window into the West from which
I could see what the free world was like.
Police! What are you doing here?
One Thursday night, eight policemen came.
They started to scream and yell.
No one leaves!
Were arresting you! Well...
Cmon, sit down!
Whats this, Comrade?
I was watching a film with some friends.
A film? Is this a video screening?
Did you take some money tonight?
-No, but whats the problem?
-Whats the problem?
Hey, take the VCR.
Were taking the VCR, Comrade Barbu.
I said, Okay, but do you have
a search warrant?
And they were like, Listen to this guy.
He wants a search warrant.
Okay, well get it. In half an hour,
well be back with a search warrant.
And then well rip your home apart.
They could press criminal charges and
sentence you to one or two years in jail.
In my case,
they took the VCR and 30 tapes.
People who had VCRs and color TVs
suffered a lot of injustice.
One evening, he simply showed up there.
I didnt know who he was
or where he came from.
All I knew was that he was very polite.
-And you are?
I was recommended.
Are you usually late?
No, Im really sorry,
it wont happen again.
Are they ready?
Here they are.
Hes our new translator.
-Good evening.
-Comrade Nistor, its an honor.
You will have different schedules
so you wont meet often.
This is the dubbing table.
Ill leave the tapes there.
The lists are there. Yes?
I understand.
Good, follow me.
He was a character
that I completely ignored.
He didnt interest me.
He was the competition, to begin with.
Strangely, I dont interact with people.
I dont feel the need.
You need to understand that I was there...
to be Mrs. Irinas backup.
Quite a hard task!
There were very few tapes
dubbed by someone else.
So wed say, Wait a minute.
This is not an original.
This is a fake. Bring me the original!
There were other voices. There was a guy.
I am Michael Knight.
David told me to come here.
My wife, Terry.
I dont remember the other person.
I didnt like it.
I couldnt enjoy the film itself.
it felt like something was missing.
-I only remember Irina Nistor.
-There was someone else!
Should I tell you something? What?
Id miss Irina.
Wed reject a different voice,
I dont want this guy.
Weve been conned.
Irinas voice was the original.
First there was a true collapse
of civilization.
And then genocide.
Wed watch four films a night.
Around 5:00 AM, wed all be confused.
You wouldnt remember on Monday
what you saw exactly.
Wait a second.
Was this in Rambo 2 or Rambo 4?
When did he sew his wound?
And the explosion...
Wait, he wasnt in Vietnam anymore.
Nobody knew anymore.
The girl the husband wants to kill...
-She had a twin sister and...
-Shes thrown to the crocodiles...
-And she comes back disfigured.
-My mom and her friend were crying.
The copies were so bad, that many times
we had to imagine what was on screen.
Copied over and over
but not from a master.
The quality deteriorated exponentially.
Youd think the VCR was broken,
but it was the faulty tapes.
Speak, speak!
Whats your name?
Within 24 hours,
the films had entered Romania,
were translated, multiplied
and then sold throughout the country.
Then smaller local dealers
would take over,
and copy them again and again.
Theyd reach us with very poor quality
of image and sound.
Were making a very small modification.
The price will now be double.
-Its double.
New films, better quality...
Look at the tapes.
Look at them.
Slowly it grew bigger,
but that would be an understatement.
Lieutenants from all the big cities
came to get tapes.
I knew that every other Monday
Id come to my distributors in Bucharest.
Then Id distribute the tapes
to friends and acquaintances
in Bistrita, Oradea, Satu Mare.
Evening, Mr. Zamfir.
-All good?
And for me it was a great business.
The average monthly income was 2,000,
and I made 500 a night.
-See you next week.
-Yes, good-bye.
So the network spread from A to Z,
everybody making a bit of money.
Risky money,
because no laws sanctioned it.
Mr. Zamfir started out
with two, three or five VCRs.
By the end, he had 360 VCRs.
Each tape cost 1,000 LEI back then.
And every three hours,
hed make 300 tapes, 300,000 LEI.
The value of a house!
Nobody could have done this
except for Mr. Zamfir.
Sit down! But...
Sit down!
Zamfirs house
was an exclusively male space.
And the people who came there
to buy tapes and talk about
God knows what, were all men.
I didnt talk to them.
I didnt want to know their names.
For years, I had no idea
what Zamfirs first name was,
nor Mirceas surname.
I did my own thing.
I went there, I dubbed, I left.
-Hi, you have the tape?
Thanks, bye!
I got the film.
What film?
Missing in Action with Chuck Norris.
These Americans were being
held hostage by the Vietnamese.
I saw the film.
Hes captured by the...
-I think thats what Irina said.
-Yeah, the Gooks.
Bloody Gook!
And to torture him, they put a sack
over his head with a rat in it.
To Chuck Norris. Big mistake!
They expected hed be eaten by the rat.
They took it off.
-Hed eaten it.
-Norris had the rat in his mouth.
He didnt really eat it, he bit it.
The rats dead and he spits it out.
Chuck Norris spits out the rat.
And it was that whole thing
of ultimate survival.
After the film ended...
Lets see what youve got.
Come on then, Ill destroy you.
The street wasnt just a street,
a rock not just a rock.
They were challenges.
Come on.
Bring it on.
We started to play
in a disciplined manner.
We started to want to be...
In my flat, I screened the film...
I couldnt help myself
and I made a few comments.
And even my aunt,
who was 70 years old, said,
Look, hes just like Ceausescu.
He set Rome on fire.
The same way Ceausescu
destroyed churches and villages,
Nero set Rome on fire.
I was at my aunts one early evening...
and I was watching
a karate film on my own.
A family of neighbors,
university professors,
but who were notorious
party activists and militants,
had filed a complaint.
-Mrs. Urse?
-Officer Dinu Popescu.
Is something wrong?
Come with us.
Ill just get my coat.
My aunt was called in
by the secret police.
She was so scared
that she was told not even
to tell me what had happened.
Who is it?
Cristi, come with me.
All of a sudden, two men in black came.
They looked like characters
in a crime film.
I was very scared.
My parents locked me in a room
for a couple of hours.
Its such a strange experience.
I wasnt sure what was happening.
But it happened all of a sudden
and out of the blue.
It was over.
They confiscated
the video player and tapes.
And I never watched films
at my aunts again.
The people and the youth.
They are the ones
who have achieved everything
in the socialist development
of our country.
They are the heroes that should be sung
in films, theater, poetry,
in art, literature, paintings,
all artistic domains.
They need to be represented.
Political strategies of repression
were getting harsher.
You could feel it at all levels.
More people were questioned
by the secret police.
It was an increasingly repressive time.
Call in Irina Nistor.
I was afraid because
he hadnt called me in before.
Come in.
-Take a seat.
I was trying not give him the satisfaction
of seeing me scared.
What were you thinking
dubbing Jesus of Nazareth?
-People loved them.
For instance, during Jesus of Nazareth,
when they watched the crucifixion,
they would really cry.
They would cry!
Youd see them with handkerchiefs
and they lived every moment!
It was the time when Ceausescu
was demolishing churches.
You couldnt go to church
without being denounced.
I saw you going to church.
I translated a film...
No, Comrade Nistor. Its a religious film.
I thought freedom of religion
was a constitutional right?
That made him angry.
Youre teaching me about the Constitution?
But I dont know what the problem is.
I didnt know what was coming.
You dont realize
the seriousness of your actions.
You know how often you said God
instead of the one above?
You know who watched this film
and complained? Do you know?
Get out!
I was really scared.
I felt for the first time
that the end could be near.
Maybe I shouldve quit then,
but I couldnt. The films were my oxygen.
Think youll get away with it?
You cant kill policemen.
After that, every time I dubbed a film,
I wondered if Id be called in.
You think youll get away with it?
Hell come after us.
The main feeling was, I can watch films!
I can keep in touch with the world.
Look! Its him. What will we do?
The adrenaline rush was amazing.
To be able to watch and translate.
You are absolute idiots.
You want to know why?
And I couldnt stop, at all.
Because I want to honor you.
It was like a drug,
like escaping from jail.
You need people like me.
At least six films.
The average was seven or eight.
Once I managed to dub 10 in a row.
Teach me, I can do it!
Films, like books,
were the pretext, as it were,
for communication between people.
The reason is simple.
We all watched the same films.
People of Eurasia.
Until the final victory has been achieved.
It was also a way
to provoke the authorities.
All these films were a way to rebel,
to do something forbidden.
We were subversive, even if we were
only watching a film on VCR.
Ten-four, come in.
Its the trucker frequency.
So its their dialect?
These people were the resistance!
How did they survive?
Where did they record the tapes?
How did they manage to hide it,
everything they were doing?
How come nobody caught them?
Devon is calling.
I was dubbing.
Put the call through.
Ill drive.
Suddenly, they burst in.
Hello, Michael.
How dare you barge in! Who are you?
Take your hands off me! Take them off!
-Your name, Comrade.
-Zamfir. Who sent you?
Is there anyone else in the house?
Take your hands off me.
Ill find out who sent you.
-Quiet down.
-Ill even find out your mothers name.
How dare you talk like that!
It was a scary moment
which couldve ended tragically.
But a magic word,
a password...
made them leave.
Thats how I found out Mircea
was an undercover secret police officer.
Mr. Zamfir never asked me any questions.
I never asked for anything at all.
Thats honor.
Good evening.
I didnt know why
they looked so shaken up.
They didnt tell me what had happened.
Maybe they were afraid Id be scared.
Later on, I heard about the raid and why
the secret police didnt stop Zamfir then.
But saving Zamfir
put Mircea in a delicate situation
with his superiors.
So Zamfir decided
to try bribing the high officials
to get them both off the hook.
Comrade Zamfir.
Lets sit down and talk.
All these powerful men
were manipulated by the needs
of their wives and children.
They didnt realize
that when taking films from me,
their betrayal of communist
ethics and morals ceased to exist.
Hes an excellent businessman.
It was a very smart move
to give high-ranking officials
tapes for free.
Its like the story of the goose
that lays the golden egg.
You dont kill it.
Because youre left
without the golden egg.
Mr. Zamfir became so rich
that no one could touch him, nobody!
He worked with people of higher rank,
above Colonels.
From the army,
the secret police, the police,
the Central Committee,
people of very high rank and power.
The rest, hed just ignore.
Comrade Zamfir, I was just trying to help.
I brought you the video player.
I have my own.
Thats for work, for the others.
You know who youre talking to, right?
Who could stop me,
when everyone had an interest?
Once the Attorney General came and said,
You think youre above it all?
I said no.
He tried to threaten me.
Mr. Zamfir!
Take your VCR, call the car and leave!
I knew there was nothing he could do.
Because they all benefited from my work,
the political class at the highest level.
The secret services, the police.
What could an Attorney General do to me?
Among those who tried hard
to get tapes from me
was Ceausescus son,
Comrade Ceausescus son.
I gave him everything he wanted,
but I refused to meet him.
Those were my glory days.
If the video tapes didnt exist,
if Irina Nistor didnt exist...
I dont know, because its such
an important part of that era.
Get out of my face!
She had the voice...
and she could also communicate
the actors emotions.
I was shocked
by how original her voice was.
It was shrill
and yet very pleasant and expressive.
Wait, this is not charity work.
-It felt like shed always been there.
-She was there!
She didnt just dub, she also acted.
There were many characters, men,
women and she acted them all.
And she also made comments.
The guy said Hello
and shed make her own additions
to give more color to the character.
She became like
an acquaintance or a friend.
She had a certain image,
not a physical image, a figure.
But she had a certain presence.
Teach me. I can do it.
You are not Japanese.
You are not a Tanaka.
How will Santa Claus come
if we dont have a chimney?
Youll see!
To honor you.
I counted them, multiplied them,
and by 1989, I had translated
around 3,000 films.
The Man with the Deadly Lens.
The Godfather. Look, Cotton Club!
The Deer Hunter. Kung Fu 2.
Ninja, of course!
The Shining. Jaws 2.
Death Cruise, imagine that! Rough Cut.
Later on people told me
that it gave them courage,
that they associated my voice
with the idea of freedom
and the idea of hope.
And this of course
made me feel flattered and happy.
Its that amazing feeling
that you havent lived for nothing.
That youve accomplished something
during a very complex time
when it seemed almost impossible.
The 15th round.
Youre going down.
No way.
Its very hard to explain
or to understand why they didnt stop it.
Were they just reckless?
Or were they incompetent?
I dont know.
The high-ranking secret police
were the most interested in the tapes.
They didnt think it would become
a mass phenomenon.
They believed it was just a closed circle.
Ceausescu probably didnt know
the extent of the phenomenon.
He thought it was just trustworthy people
from the Central Committee
who watched capitalist films.
And they wouldnt be affected
because they had healthy views
on our society.
Nobody informed him,
because they all wanted to watch films.
Nobody was going to say,
Comrade Ceausescu...
in Bucharest there are
10,000 video players.
Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
In the end, the whole thing exploded.
And those seeds of freedom,
also planted by those video films,
During the revolution,
everybody was in the streets.
Because they all knew
there was a better life out there.
From films.
Down with the party! Down with the party!
I am theater director Alexa Visarion.
In the name of the Romanian people,
and in the name of their ideals,
the government will now resign.
The people are with us!
In five minutes,
we will make an announcement
to the entire Romanian nation,
to the heroic Romanian people.
We won! We won!
A lot of people asked,
Why didnt you stop? Werent you afraid?
But giving up seemed cowardly to me,
to tell you the truth.
I just wanted to watch films.
And it was a really unexpected opportunity
to watch films.
People need stories, no?
In 1992, this activity started to die.
Mr. Zamfir had extraordinary flair.
He sold all the equipment
at exactly the right moment.
But it was the end of an era.
For me it was...
an opportunity to learn
some amazing things,
to observe a great man.
And to this day, I havent met...
a man like Mr. Zamfir.
During a dictatorship
which had controlled everything,
they lost control of something
that seemed insignificant,
the videotape.
The videotapes set the whole
communist system off balance.
Its because they were deemed trivial,
that they had such a big impact.
The tapes are here.
Look how they are preserved.
Here they are.
Look at them.
I know its tempting
to use physical violence.
I know that.
Thats her.