Dracula's Shadow – The Real Story Behind the Romanian Revolution

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Dracula's Shadow – The Real Story Behind the Romanian Revolution
Country Canada

Dracula's Shadow – The Real Story Behind the Romanian Revolution is a new documentary film that reveals the secret mission from Canada in March 1989 to tape a clandestine TV interview with Romania's biggest dissident, László Tőkés, that would later spark the Romanian Revolution.

Two French-Canadians - Michel Clair (a former Cabinet Minister in the Parti Québecois) and Réjean Roy (a reporter for Radio-Canada) worked together with Tőkés' brother - István - who was living in Montreal to help set up the trip. The mission succeeded, and the tapes of the interview got out to the West with the aid of underground couriers just before Clair and Roy were arrested by the Romanian secret police (Securitate). The two Canadians were eventually released. That interview was then first broadcast on July 24, 1989, on the "Panoráma" TV show on Hungarian State TV (MTV) which could also be seen in western Romania.

In the interview László Tőkés, a member of Romania's large Hungarian minority, criticized the harsh living conditions in the country and the discriminatory policies against national minorities pursued by Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu. Because of the interview Tőkés was fired and after several court challenges was given the final deadline of Friday, Dec. 15, 1989 to leave his church. On the previous Sunday - Sunday, Dec. 10 - Tőkés told his parishioners to come out on the Friday to bear witness as to what will happen. Instead, first dozens, then hundreds and eventually thousands of people came out and surroundeded his church to protect Tőkés from advancing Securitate and military. By the evening of Dec. 16 fighting broke out outside Tőkés' church that then spread across the city and then across the country.

The film reveals how the Securitate was initially outfoxed, uncovers information from Securitate archives in Bucharest about attempts by Ceausescu to silence Tőkés, and talks about informers working for the Securitate. It also has an extensive interview with former Securitate Major Radu Tinu who was responsible for Tőkés.

Today László Tőkés is a member of the European Parliament.

The world premiere of the cinema version of the film will be in Timişoara on Dec. 15, 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution. Hungary's DUNA-TV will also broadcast a 52-minute version on Dec. 15.


  • Laszlo Tokes - With God, For The People by David Porter, pages 118-119, and 133-136.
  • The Romanian Revolution by Peter Siani-Davies, pages 58–62.

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