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Power to the people?
Bucharest street protests come under gaze of documentary-maker.

An interview with Vlad Petri by Oana Vasiliu

Oana: Bucharest, where are you? has been called a revolutionary movie.
Is it?

Vlad: It is a movie about the people who protested in those days, an X-ray of Romanian society. Initially, I considered my documentary a revolutionary one because I was part of that movement that believed we could change the system, the government, even the president. But after working on putting the material together, I found that the attempt at revolution was shrinking daily, transforming the cause into a live performance.

After your first day at the protest, you posted a movie on YouTube that got tens of thousands of viewers in just one day. Was this the online hook that persuaded you to make a documentary?

The desire to make a documentary movie came later, but the online environment helped me realize that I was doing a good job, that people were supporting me and my work. The feedback was very important in encouraging me to continue to film what was happening on the street.

Did you ever feel fearful while shooting the protests?

Probably on January 15, 2012, when I was filming behind the line that the gendarmerie had formed and people were throwing stones, recycling bins, bottles and many other hard objects. That was a point when I couldn’t control what I was filming anymore as I had to look up to check if something was about to hit me. The special forces then used teargas and I remembered waking up that night coughing really badly.

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