My Perestroika

My Perestroika

  • Director(s): Robin Hessman
  • Producer(s): Robin Hessman, Rachel Wexler
  • Country: United States, United Kingdom
  • Year: 2010
  • Duration: 88 min
  • Language: Russian with English subtitles
  • Format: Video HDCAM 1080/23.98p
  • Premiere status: None
  • Website: www.myperestroika.com

Forty-something Borya has lived in the same Moscow flat all his life, first as a baby and now with his son and wife Lyuba. But little else has remained the same for Borya, who was among the last generation of Iron Curtain children, schooled in a Communist ideology which became anachronistic as soon as they entered adulthood. Now history teachers, he and Lyuba struggle to explain recent history to their bemused students. Director Robin Hessman skilfully interweaves their stories with three of their classmates, whom we are able to watch as children thanks to remarkable home archive. Inevitably, some have fared better in capitalist-driven Moscow than others. “I can’t understand people who are my age who are successful businessmen these days,” muses Ruslan, an unemployed ex-punk star. “I mean, how did it work in their heads? How did they just change gears?” A masterful portrait of the complexities of modern day Russia which eschews stereotypes and overflows with intriguing details.

“The specificity of My Perestroika—from its upbeat score to its footage of the ‘mass healings’ that sprung up after communism's fairytales were exposed—is what makes the film so riveting.” - Slant Magazine


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