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Matt Micucci (Film journalist, Reporter, Researcher):

"In the tradition of the great direct cinema filmmakers, Vlad Petri’s senses started tingling when word got out that in Bucharest there was a riot going on. Two years ago, a hoard of Romanian protesters, made up of students, workers, young and old from different backgrounds invaded Bucharest. Despite them all having different individual reasons and goals in mind to fight for, all were brought together by the prospect of one common aim – a better life.

With scenes from the 1989 revolution still vivid in people’s eyes began another ambitious uprising against the corrupt political system. The documentary starts off like any shocking newsreel footage, as we watch the violence and commotion of the gendarmerie taking on the ordinary people out in the streets. Smoke bombs, beatings and unjust arrests. Petri often appears to get dangerously close to the action and we feel right in the middle of the chaos.

By getting close, however, he doesn’t just show the commotion in the common sense, the way we are used to seeing it on the 9 o’clock news. He also watches as the people debate and have verbal fights with one another on their political differences. He wonders what it is that each individual most wants to achieve. And he also watches as the protesters have fun by performing chants as light heartedly as if they were at a Karaoke night event, or as outrageous individuals express their ambition to start another political party and strip naked on a cold and snowy night carrying a Romanian flag for the sake of the revolution.

All this humanises the movement to the point that it all becomes a paradox. Political activism of the common people is hence a chance to get together for a common means, and then retracts eccentrically due to a lack of self-validation.

Petri’s film is gripping, exciting and even uproarious. Yes, the revolution can indeed be uproarious and theatrical, perhaps even more so when his own camera is pointing at the subjects with the neutrality of a smoke bomb. But the filmmaker himself is willing to remain neutral for the sake of exposition and genuine representation. Chronicling the protest from its beginnings to its miserably anonymous demise, Where Are You Bucharest? is a testimony of our times, a time of protests and mass gatherings against the systems that often end disappointingly after their initial vivid eruption."