Directed by: Werner Herzog and André Singer
Total Runtime: 90 min
Country of Origin: UK/USA/Germany
Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 2018; Official Selection, Telluride Film Festival 2018
Now 87, Mikhail Gorbachev speaks like a man with nothing to lose. He is respected more outside Russia than inside, where he’s blamed for the Soviet Union’s breakup in 1991. He laments that “we didn’t finish the job of democracy in Russia.” And he worries that others took the wrong lessons from perestroika: “Americans think they won the Cold War and this went to their head. What victory?” Directors Werner Herzog and André Singer trace Gorbachev’s rise in the Communist party, being named President of the USSR, facing the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, negotiating with Ronald Reagan to reduce nuclear weapons, fostering Germany’s reunification, and navigating the tumultuous years of glasnost. We see Gorbachev as a statesman and as a human, especially when he speaks of his beloved late wife, Raisa. Against the backdrop of our current world leaders, this feels like an ideal time to be Meeting Gorbachev. In English, Russian, German, and Polish with English subtitles.