My Father's Revolution

About the Film

A Romanian grandfather who lived most of his life under Communism has his dreams of democracy shattered after the 1989 revolution. Thirty years later he is still reluctant to talk to his daughter and grandson about those days.

In December 1989, long-fermenting unrest erupted into a revolution that saw the fall of one of Eastern Europe’s most brutal dictators, Nicolae Ceaușescu. Throughout the country, misinformation and confusion reigned. In the far north of the country, in a small town far away from the capital and unrest, my father was part of a group of citizens trying to grapple with the new reality.

In a comically chaotic situation, he helped a motley crew of towns-people as they tried to sort the propaganda from reality (for example, persistent stories that foreign terrorists were traveling the countryside in large black cars) and navigate a newly liberated country that had lived under a brutal dictatorship for nearly 50 years. The results of the revolt 30 years later remain unsatisfying, as political dynamics have kept the true dream of democracy from being fulfilled.

The construct of the film is to reveal this tragi-comic story through the lens of a grandfather trying to explain to his young American grandson what revolution is. The cultural differences between Communist Romania and the modern-day suburbs of Philadelphia help reinforce the difficulties and emotion of those times for the protagonist.

Latest News & Screenings

June 2020— Selected to be part of SEEFest LA 2020, the Southeast European Film Festival in Los Angeles. SEEFest is the leading festival in North America for films produced in and about Eastern Europe. See more at the festival’s website.

Jan. 2020 — 30 years after the Romanian revolution, the film is now complete and being sent to film festivals around the world. Check out the official trailer below.

About the Team

Diana Nicolae, Producer & Director, is an accomplished documentary filmmaker who has produced or directed more than 50 films. She started her career as a journalist in her native country of Romania, working for television and BBC Radio. The focus of her documentary career is to give a voice to the voiceless, with particular focus on post-Communist Romania. Her debut film Red Darkness Before Dawn captured abuse in Communist-era prisons and was broadcast on PBS regionally, was a finalist for the ADL’s Dore Schary awards, and was acquired by the Hoover Institute among others. Her subsequent films have delved into topics as diverse as intellectual migration from Eastern Europe, substance abuse, dating violence, and a group of camera-shy nuns attempting to maintain traditions in a monastery that is one of Romania’s most visited tourist attractions. Her most recent documentary film One Mother’s Fire: The Gail Minger Story, which captures the story of a mother overcoming the tragic death of her son in a campus fire to fight for truth and justice, screened at more than 20 film festivals worldwide, garnered eight awards, and was broadcast on PBS reaching 5.5 million homes in eight states.

Matt Jozwiakowski, Producer & Editor, has worked as producer, camera and editor on over a dozen documentaries that have screened in national and international festivals and were broadcast on PBS. Most recently, he shot and edited a documentary on dating violence partnering with leading non-profit organizations, now distributed to over 350 colleges nationwide. With more than 15 years as a marketing director for multi-national iconic brands across household, healthcare, and food categories, he has also shepherded multi-million dollar advertising campaigns into market, achieving breakthrough results across both traditional and digital media.