Director Robin Hessman spent much of the 1990s living and working in Russia, and she has produced and directed an insightful and poignant portrayal of the effects of political, social and economic change that resulted from Perestroika.
Changing With The Times
They might well be your neighbors, but they've experienced the monumental political, social and political change that occurred when the Soviet system gave way and they -- the Russian people -- embarked on their stunning encounter with Perestroika.
Hessman's verite approach to her subjects and the theme of her film is refreshing. There is no commentary, no opinion offered about what the characters present about themselves. She does, however, help them to establish their take on history by providing us with clips of archival footage that shows the characters during their school days, and they reflect back on what life was like for them when they were kids and felt care free, save and "happy in their Soviet reality." The historic clips allow the cast to reflect on their youth, to investigate their own thoughts about how things have changed.
A Captivating Social Study
My Perestroika is filled with a strikingly quiet yet compelling dramatic tension that completely captures you while you're watching it, and gives you a lot to reflect upon when the film is over. It is a fascinating study of how the social, political and economic evolution that's occurring somewhere in the world at all times effects those who experience it, and the film becomes an invitation for you to look at your own circumstances and evaluate the changes you've been through.
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- Title: My Perestroika
- Director: Robin Hessman
- Premiere date: January 24, 2010 (Sundance Festival)
- Theatrical release date: March 23, 2011 (limited)
- DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012
- Running time: 88 minutes
- Parents Guide: Add content advisory for parents
- Country: USA/UK/Russia
- Language: Russian with English subtitles
- Filming Location: Moscow, Russia
- Production Company: Red Square Productions
- DVD Release Company: Docuramafilms
- Official Website