Revolution ON AIR

The revolutions in the states of Central and Eastern Europe between 1989 and 1991 caused fundamental changes throughout the world. But how precisely could a power block which was once so omnipotent have collapsed in such a short time? For the first time a documentary examines the role of the media: how much did the media actually contribute to the collapse of the Iron Curtain?

January 13th 1991: a crowd of peaceful demonstrators in Vilnius call for freedom for Lithuania. Suddenly a Soviet tank surges forward, into the middle of the demonstration. Four people are killed. That night satellites transport moving images into the living-rooms of millions of viewers throughout the whole world. These television pictures become the strongest weapon the Lithuanians possess in their attempt to defend their freedom. East Germans, Romanians, Hungarians and Poles employed satellite technology in similar fashion after 1989, and soon the media was not only providing a commentary on the huge transformation in the Eastern block – it was also a contributing factor.

Length 1 x 60'
Year 2004
Genre Documentary
Format 16:9 HDTV
Director Thomas Staehler, Isabell Blöchl
Boadcast NHK
Distribution United Docs