On Bloody Events and “Contradictory Truths”: The Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the Discontinuous Past

The 1989 regime change in Romania was not only violent, but also contested. Paradoxically, one of the pivotal questions related to what is generally described as the "Romanian revolution of 1989" is concerned with its revolutionary character. This study examines two major issues related to Romania's exit from communism, that is: the historical reconstruction of the rapidly unfolding events of December 1989 and the process of remembering those events. As long as the court of law postpones indefinitely a final verdict in the so-called trial of the revolution, historical reconstruction of those events is significantly limited and there is a considerable risk that the same bloody events enter the historical canon as the "revolution that never was."

Key words: Romania, 1989 regime changes, historical reconstruction, memory, contrasting interpretations, film.