There’s a lot to love in The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaucescu. After watching it, I don’t know if I’d want to be an autocratic ruler’s cameraman. It doesn’t look like much fun.

One home movie – in colour – features a moment that says quite a bit about Rulers for Life. Here are three stills of Ceaucescu spiking a volleyball in a backyard match, “subtly” pulling the net down as he jumps

Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu cheaty spike 1 Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu cheaty spike 2 Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu cheaty spike 3I admit to, in my younger years, practicing my dives for soccer. I don’t see too much of a problem with Luis Suarez or anyone else flopping. Even moving to left back didn’t cure me of my love of a good dive. But Ceaucescu is just plain cheating when he doesn’t have to. He’s the all-powerful strongman ruler of the country. The volleyball game that we see in the film is kind of hilariously half-assed. Except for Ceaucescu. He’s going all out, even on his net-dipping spikes. I don’t know if it shows something less than admirable about me, but I can quite easily find it in me to like someone who lives up to Jesse The Body Ventura’s “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat” motto. Even when (and maybe especially because) everyone’s letting him win.

Were Autobiography a fictional film, I would really enjoy the wonderful cruelty of Ceaucescu’s shirt coming up over his pudgy little belly, exposing his softness as he cheats.

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