During the last year of Ceausescu’s regime, there is little to suggest that his long and terrible rule was coming to an end. Eva (17) and her little brother Lalalilu grew up in Bucharest in a society dominated by repression and fear. Both resist their surroundings and, even though they are young, they make improbable yet understandable plans to move their lives in a different direction.
When Eva and her boyfriend Alex accidentally knock over a bust of Ceaucescu at school, Eva is kicked out of school, while Alex, protected by his father’s party membership, is allowed to stay. Then she meets Andrei, a rebellious kid with whom she forges the naive plan of swimming the Danube to freedom. Lalalilu is even more impetuous and decides to murder the dictator on a national holiday.
While the tragicomic undertone is evident in the plot, Mitulescu succeeds in giving his feature debut realistic suspense. The convincing acting by the young actors allows love to triumph in the era of Ceausescu. This largely realistic film occasionally makes an excursion into Lalalilu’s fantasy world. The plot juxtaposes archive footage of the revolution with the fictional characters in the middle of Romanian reality. The Way I Spent the End of the World is one of three productions by young Romanians being screened in Rotterdam as they settle up personally with the important historic events of 1989. (LC)